Which alcohol products might be affected by the introduction of a minimum unit price in Western Australia? Findings from a survey of alcohol retail prices: Findings from a survey of alcohol retail prices

Tina Lam, Sarah Callinan, Suzanne Nielsen, Freya Horn, Leanne Francia, Brian Vandenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Minimum unit price (MUP) policies establish a retail floor price below which alcohol may not be sold, and have been shown to reduce harmful alcohol use. We aimed to collect retail price data to estimate the proportion of alcohol products that would potentially be impacted by a MUP policy in Western Australia. Methods: We purposively sampled the four largest off-premises alcohol retail chains, a further random sample of other off-premise alcohol outlets (n = 16) and on-premise inner-city outlets (n = 11). Using website data from May to June 2021, we estimated the proportion of products across four beverage categories priced ≤A$1.30, ≤A$1.50 and ≤A$1.75 per standard drink (10 g alcohol). Results: Of 27,797 off-premise products identified, 5.7% were available at ≤$1.30 per standard drink, 7.6% at ≤$1.50 and 10.4% at ≤$1.75. The proportion of products available at ≤$1.30 per standard drink varied by beverage category: 7.8% wine, 2.9% beer and cider, <0.1% spirits, 0.0% ready-to-drink spirits. Cask-packaged wines represented only 1.9% of off-premise wine products and 98.9% of this cask wine was priced ≤$1.30 per standard drink. No on-premise products were priced ≤$1.75 per standard drink. Discussion and Conclusions: A comprehensive survey of alcohol prices in Western Australia found only a small proportion of products would potentially be affected by a MUP of $1.30 to $1.75 per standard drink. A MUP policy has potential to target the small proportion of alcohol products available at very low prices (i.e., off-premise cask wine), with negligible impact on other off-premise beverage categories, and no impact on on-premises products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-925
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • beer
  • minimum unit price
  • taxation
  • wine

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