Alcohol retailers rollout trial to help moderate consumption

A new study has revealed while drinking alcohol during the pandemic has remained the same or decreased for the majority of Australians – 31 per cent of risky drinkers have increased their alcohol consumption since the start of the pandemic – and this is more likely to be younger people aged 18-44 years.

However, zero, low and mid-strength alcohol options are making a difference, with a third of Australians (32%) who have reduced their alcohol consumption using low and non-alcoholic options to cut back.

It’s a positive trend, with half of risky drinkers willing to use lower and non-alcoholic options to help them moderate*.

The DrinkWise research – which surveyed 3,000 Australians – also revealed there is still a perceived stigma around drinking less, with 35% of those aged 18-44 years admitting they would hide the fact they’re not drinking alcohol or drinking lower strength products from the people they’re with.

To help them reduce their consumption and in recognition of the opportunity to showcase the range, sophistication and increasing adoption of lower strength alcohol products, DrinkWise and Endeavour Group are trialling dedicated zero, low and mid-strength sections, front and centre in selected Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores.

This will be combined with in-store messaging to help encourage zero/low/mid strength alcohol options.

The Australian first pilot program, with a purpose-designed BWS store, will begin in Queensland, before being rolled out in other states.

The trial will help identify the best ways to raise awareness of lower strength and zero alcohol options with consumers.

DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan says research shows younger people are considerably more likely to want to reduce their alcohol consumption.

“Almost 6-out-of-10 alcohol drinkers aged 18-to-24 years old are looking to cut down their alcohol consumption,” said Strahan.

“This new DrinkWise research highlights the positive impact that zero, low and mid strength products can have in helping to reduce alcohol consumption, which is why we’re working with Dan Murphy’s and BWS liquor stores to raise awareness of, and improve access to, lower strength and zero alcohol products.”

Younger people (18-44 years) are twice as likely to consume lower and zero alcohol options than people aged 45+ years.

“We are seeing an acceleration in the recent trend of customers seeking more ways to moderate their drinking, and this has corresponded with a steady rise in the number of people purchasing lower and zero alcohol options,” said Endeavour Group CEO and managing director Steve Donohue.

“We couldn’t be prouder to help raise awareness of these low-alcohol alternatives in partnership with DrinkWise, and to assist our customers to make responsible choices.”

“It’s heartening to see the majority of Australians drinking less during COVID-19 but sadly one in three (31%) risky drinkers have increased their alcohol intake in recent months. As a doctor who sees patients wanting to cut back on their alcohol consumption, I commend DrinkWise and Endeavour Group for raising awareness and improving access to lower strength and zero alcohol products,” said general practitioner Dr Matt Hargreaves.

Risky drinkers are classified as people who consume 10 or more standard drinks a week or more than four standard drinks during a single day.

This targeted and strategic rollout aligns to the DrinkWise study which indicated Queenslanders are significantly more likely to be drinking alcohol at risky levels than the nation’s average (34% vs 28%). Drinkers in the Sunshine State agreed that providing access to lower strength and zero alcohol products allows consumers to take greater control of their drinking choices (58%).

At Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores, you have to be 18 years of age to buy lower strength and zero alcohol products and customers have their IDs checked if they look under the age of 25 years.


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