A billion units of alcohol will be shed by the alcohol industry through an ambitious plan to help customers drink within guidelines, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced today.
The initiative, which is part of the Responsibility Deal, is being spearheaded by 34 leading companies behind brands like Echo Falls, First Cape and Heineken and will see a greater choice of lower strength alcohol products and smaller measures by 2015.
Market intelligence suggests consumers are increasingly looking for lower strength wines. In the past year, demand for lower and non-alcoholic beer has soared by 40 per cent across all retailers.
Key commitments include new and lighter products, innovating through existing brands and removing products from sale. They include:
- Sainsbury’s have pledged to double the sales of lighter alcohol wine and reduce the average alcohol content of own brand wine and beer by 2020.
- 25 million units will be gradually removed from Accolade Wines including Echo Falls Rosé and Echo Falls White Zinfandel;
- Brand Phoenix – have committed to taking 50 million units of alcohol out of their wines – by reducing 0.8 per cent ABV on all FirstCape full strength red wines;
- Molson Coors, the UK’s largest brewer, has committed to remove 50 million units by December 2015;
- 100 million units will be removed by Heineken;
- own brand super-strength lager will be removed from sale by wholesaler Makro;
- Tesco, the leading retailer for low alcohol drinks, will reduce the alcohol content of its own-label beer and cider and expand its range of lower alcohol wines and beers, already the biggest selling range in the UK.