Supermarkets urged to restrict Alcohol Displays

Health campaign groups have called on Britain’s supermarkets to stop displaying alcohol alongside food and soft drinks .
Research by charity group Alcohol Concern in December found that the big four supermarket chains – Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons – were “overflowing” with discounted alcohol, with wine and beer displays placed throughout their stores.
It is now urging the retailers and off-licenses to confine their alcohol products to just one section of their shops, an idea which it claims is backed by 70 per cent of shoppers.
It also wants England to follow examples set in Scotland and supported by the Welsh Assembly Government to restrict the places where alcohol can be seen, and recommends the introduction of a 50p per unit minimum to stop the “deep discounting of alcohol by supermarkets “.
Don Shenker, the group’s chief executive, said: “It’s now common practice to sell wine next to ready-meals, pushing the idea that a relaxing meal should be accompanied by an alcoholic drink .”
“Such practices help fuel a drinking culture where one in four people in England are already drinking at levels that are harming their health.”
In response, the British Retail Consortium said the findings were based on a “very small-scale survey”, which looked at just four stores in a single UK city.
Andrew Opie, the BRC’s food director, commented: “Supermarkets are the most responsible sellers of alcohol. There’s no evidence to link the way alcohol is sold currently to irresponsible drinking.”
“Limiting supermarket displays would create inconvenience for the vast majority of customers who enjoy alcohol sensibly”, he added.