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Boozing out Affordability of booze 'sustains Ireland's harmful use', says Alcohol Action Ireland

Minimum unit pricing is to be introduced next year but shops are already shifting their marketing strategies to ensure retention of key price points

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Alcohol is still so cheap in Ireland that the cost of reaching the weekly low-risk limit is just €4.95 for women and €7.65 for men.

Budget booze is being supported by "a sophisticated pricing strategy across the off-trade market in supermarkets, convenience shops and neighbourhood shops", according to a survey released today.

Alcohol Action Ireland, which investigated the prices, said the affordability of drink "sustains Ireland's harmful use".

Minimum unit pricing is to be introduced next year but shops are already shifting their marketing strategies to ensure retention of key price points.


"What this may result in is lesser multi-unit packs and perhaps a greater prevalence of smaller volume units such as 440ml cans or 500ml spirits products," said the organisation's spokesman Eunan McKinney.

Separately, compliance with the law making it mandatory for structural separation of alcohol from other products to reduce visibility was "uneven and unsatisfactory".

Some 52 out of 90 stores were deemed non-compliant with these displays.

The price survey was carried out in Dublin, Sligo and Ashbourne, Co Meath, between July 12 and 28.

It involved a range of typical stores including Aldi, Centra, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Londis, Spar, SuperValu and Tesco.

Cider was the cheapest, followed by beer, wine and spirits such as gin and whiskey.

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Low-risk limits for alcohol consumption in men are 17 standard drinks over the course of a week, while for women it is 11 standard drinks.

A standard drink is a pub measure of spirits, a small glass of wine, a half pint of beer or a bottle of alcopop.

From January minimum unit pricing will mean a standard drink cannot be sold here for less than €1.

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