Scotland

Minimum pricing could see own-brand spirits rise by £3 a bottle

vodka at Tesco
Image caption Supermarket own-brands could see a significant rise in price from 1 May onwards

Scotland's supermarkets will have to increase the prices of some own-brand spirits by as much as £3 when minimum pricing becomes law next week.

A look at the big six supermarkets showed vodka and gin being sold for as little as £10 for a 70cl bottle.

The new minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol would mean vodka could not be sold for less than £13.13 for a 70cl bottle and whisky would be £14.

Large packs of beer, strong cider and some wine would also be affected.

The cost of large bottles of cider at most supermarkets would more than double.

The major supermarkets have been selling Tennent's lager, Carling and Carlsberg for as little as £10 for 20 large cans.

Under the new law, which comes into effect on 1 May, 20 cans of 440ml lager at 4% abv (alcohol by volume) strength would have to cost at least £17.60 - or 88p a can.

The new pricing scheme is designed to deter super-cheap alcohol such as strong cider, which can cost less than a bottle of cola, and cheap own-brand spirits.

The new law is not a tax and does not generate income for the government. Instead its aims it to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol by setting a floor price.

With the minimum price for a pint (568ml) of beer (4% abv) being about £1.14 and large glass of wine about £1.50, the move is unlikely to affect pubs and restaurants.

But the snapshot study of alcohol being sold at branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl in Glasgow this week shows they currently sell a range of booze for below the minimum alcohol threshold.

How minimum pricing works

You can work out how many units there are in any drink by multiplying the total volume of a drink (in ml) by its ABV (Alcohol by volume - measured as a percentage) and dividing the result by 1,000.

A bottle of 70cl (700ml) vodka at 37.5% abv is 26.25 units. At 50p per unit of alcohol that means a minimum price of £13.13.

A two litre bottle of strong cider at 7.5% abv is 15 units of alcohol and should cost £7.50.

How much will your booze rise by?

In the week before the minimum pricing law was due to come into force, BBC Scotland news website undertook research on the price of alcohol in Scotland's leading supermarkets. Here are the results.

Vodka

All the supermarkets were selling vodka that was below the minimum price threshold.

Image caption Supermarket own-brands could see a significant rise in price from 1 May onwards

Aldi - Tamova vodka £9.99 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Aldi - Glens vodka £10.49 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Asda - Smirnoff vodka £12 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Asda - Select Vodka £10.50 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Tesco - Grain vodka - £11 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Lidl - Glen's vodka - £9.99 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Morrisons - Imperial vodka - £11 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Morrisons - Smirnoff vodka - £16 for 1 litre at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £18.75

Sainsbury's - Smirnoff vodka - £16 for 1 litre at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £18.75

Whisky

The whisky industry was the main opponent of minimum pricing. Although the more expensive whiskies will not be affected, there are many whisky brands that will need to raise their prices or will be restricted in how much they can discount their spirits.

Aldi - Castle and Crag whisky - £10.99 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Aldi - Highland Earl whisky - £11.49 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Asda - Famous Grouse whisky - £12 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Asda - Own brand Blended Scotch Whisky - £11.25 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Tesco - Bells Scotch whisky - £13 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Tesco - Whyte and Mackay - £12 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Tesco- Own brand special reserve - £12.50 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Lidl - Single grain Scotch - £10.99 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Sainsbury's - Famous Grouse - £13 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Sainsbury's - Whyte and Mackay - £12 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Sainsbury's - Basic Scotch - £11.60 for 70cl at 40% abv - new minimum price £14

Many whiskies are sold in larger 1 litre bottles

Tesco - Grants Scotch whisky - £16 for 1 litre at 40% abv - new minimum price £20

Lidl - Queen Margot whisky - £14.99 for 1 litre at 40% abv - new minimum price £20

Morrisons - Label 5 blended Scotch whisky - £16 for 1 litre at 40% abv - new minimum price £20

Morrisons - Bells Scotch whisky - £16 for 1 litre at 40% abv - new minimum price £20

Morrisons - Whyte and Mackay - £16 for 1 litre at 40% abv - new minimum price £20

Wine

The minimum price of a bottle of wine will vary depending on the strength. A 12% bottle of 750ml red wine will be a minimum of £4.50. The majority of supermarket wines are above that price but there are some that are lower.

Asda - Rich and Ripe red wine £3.19 for 750ml at 13% abv - new minimum price £4.88

Asda - Shiraz £4.18 for 750ml at 13.5% abv - new minimum price £5.06

Asda - White wine £3.50 for 750ml at 11.5% abv - new minimum price £4.31

Tesco - Zesty white wine £3.65 for 750ml at 11% abv - new minimum price £4.13

Tesco - Chardonnay £4.15 for 750ml at 12.5% abv - new minimum price £4.69

Tesco - Merlot £4.25 for 750ml at 12.5% abv - new minimum price £4.69

Aldi - Crisp white wine £3.49 for 750ml at 10.5% abv- new minimum price £3.94

Aldi - Red wine Merlot £3.59 for 750ml at 13% abv - new minimum price £4.88

Lidl- Table wine £3.19 for 750ml at 11% abv - new minimum price £4.13

Lidl - Chardonnay £3.49 for 750ml at 11.5% abv - new minimum price £4.31

Lidl - Pinot Grigio £3.89 for 750ml at 12% abv - new minimum price £4.50

Lidl - Cabernet Sauvignon £3.99 for 750ml at 14% abv - new minimum price £5.25

Morrisons - Chardonnay £4.25 for 750ml at 13% abv - new minimum price £4.88

Morrisons - Fresh Australian wine £4 for 750ml at 12.5% abv - new minimum price £4.59

Morrisons - South African red £3.75 for 750ml at 13.5% abv - new minimum price £5.06

Sainsbury's - Wollemi Shiraz £4.35 for 750ml at 12.5% abv - new minimum price £4.69

Sainsbury's Castillo Du Lagomar £4 for 750ml at 10% abv - new minimum price £3.75

Wine boxes

Boxes of wine are not as popular as they once were and could become even less so when their price rises

Asda - Box of 2.25 litres of Chardonnay at 12.5% abv for £8 - new minimum price £14.06

Asda - Box of 2.25 litres of Shiraz at 13% abv for £12.50 - new minimum price £14.65

Lidl - Box of 3 litres of Pinotage Cabernet Sauvignon at 14% abv for £14.65 - new minimum price £21

Morrisons - Box of 2.25 litres Merlot at 12.5% abv for £12.50 - new minimum price £14.06

Sainsbury's - Box of 2.25 litres Sauvignon Blanc at 12.5% abv for £12.80 - new minimum price £14.06

Beer cans

Cans are usually cheaper than bottles and it is the large packs of cans that will be most affected.

Aldi - 12 cans of Hendry's Scottish 440ml lager at 4.1% abv for £6.29 - new minimum price £10.82

Asda - 20 cans of Tennent's 440 ml lager at 4% abv for £10 - new minimum price £17.60

Asda - 18 cans of Carling 440ml lager at 4% abv for £12 - new minimum price £15.84

Asda - 20 cans of Carlsberg 440ml lager at 3.8% abv for £12 - new minimum price £16.72

Tesco - 15 cans of Tennent's 440ml lager at 4% abv for £12 - new minimum price £13.20

Tesco 18 cans of Carling 440ml lager at 4% abv for £12 - new minimum price £15.84

Lidl - 12 cans of Tennent's 440ml lager at 4% abv for £8 - new minimum price £10.56

Morrisons - Tennent's - 20 cans of 440ml lager at 4% abv for £10 - new minimum price £17.60

Beer bottles

Some offers on bottled beer may also fall under the minimum price.

Aldi - Brassiere premium 10 bottles of 250ml lager at 4% abv for £3.29 - new minimum price £5

Tesco - Stella Artois - 20 bottles of 284ml lager at 4.8% abv for £11 - new minimum price £13.63

Tesco - Becks - 20 bottles of 275ml lager at 4.8% abv for £12.50 - new minimum price £13.20

Tesco - Budweiser - 15 bottles of 300ml lager at 4.5% abv for £9 - new minimum price £10.13

Morrisons - Stella Artois - 12 bottles of 330ml at 4.8% abv for £8 - new minimum price £9.50

Morrisons - Budweiser - 20 bottles of 300ml at 4.5% abv for £12 - new minimum price £13.50

Sainsbury's - Kronenburg 1664 - 15 bottles of 275ml lager at 5% abv for £9.50 - new minimum price £10.31

Cider

Superstrength cider (7.5%) was one of the targets of the new law. However, under pressure from campaigners, most supermarkets no longer sell large bottles of strong cider. They do sell normal strength (5%) in two litre bottles for as little as £1.99 in Aldi and Lidl. This will rise to £5 under the new minimum price rules.

Aldi - Taurus cider - 2 litres at 5% abv - £1.99 - new minimum price £5

Asda - Premium dry cider - 2 litres at 4.7% abv - £2.30 - new minimum price £4.70

Asda - Scrumpy cloudy cider - 2 litres at 7.5% abv - £4.55 - new minimum price £7.50

Tesco - Crofter's Apple Cider - 2 litres at 5% abv - £2.05 - new minimum price £5

Lidl - Woodgate's Apple Cider - 2 litres at 5% abv - £1.99 - new minimum price £5

Morrisons - Medium Dry Cider - 2.5 litres at 5% abv - £3 - new minimum price £6.25

Gin

Like whisky and vodka, cheap gin will be heavily affected by the change.

Asda - Gordon's gin - £12 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Tesco - £11 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Aldi - £9.99 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Lidl - £9.99 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Sainsbury's - Basics London Gin - £10.50 for 70cl at 37.5% abv - new minimum price £13.13

Morrisons - Gordon's gin - £16 for 1 litre at 37.5% - new minimum price £18.75

Alcopops

Alcopops are not particularly strong and are usually fairly high-priced and will not usually be affected.

Asda - WKD blue - £2 for 70cl at 4% abv - minimum price £1.40

Buckfast tonic wine

Buckfast is often mentioned as one of the drinks associated with antisocial behaviour. However, at 15% abv for a 750ml bottle it's minimum price of £5.63 is lower than its usual retail price.

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