Blog: Confusion reigns on UK alcohol policy
Chris Mercer | 13 August 2010
The UK Coalition Government's attitude towards alcohol appears confused.
Prime Minister David Cameron this week said that he would look "very sympathetically" on a plan by authorities in Manchester to introduce a minimum price on alcohol in the city.
Yet, for weeks now, we have been told that the Government is not interested in minimum pricing. It does, however, want to curb supply and sales of drinks by banning below-cost sales at retail. There is a consultation on what 'below-cost' means and there is also one underway on the licensing laws.
A Home Office spokesperson told me today that minimum pricing is still not very interesting to the Government. If that is the case, then why is David Cameron listening "sympathetically" to Manchester councils?
Ministers have declared their support for more decisions to be made at a local level. But, this could easily cause a jumble in terms of policy.
The Government began its term by setting out a reasonably clear stall on alcohol, but has since set about muddying the waters - which could suggest either a lack of cohesive planning or divisions in the Coalition.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Focus - Pernod Ricard's Q1 sales by brand
- Time for Heineken to make a European break
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Whisky downturn slows Diageo's Scotch spend
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Pernod Ricard sees sales lift in Q1
- Smirnoff Ice gets India launch