liquor up | 

Reality bites as bottle of vodka jumps up by €10 in some supermarkets under new rules

Slabs of 24 cans of beer or cider now cost around €40
Stock photo

Stock photo

Amy Molloy

All major supermarkets have increased the cost of alcohol after new minimum pricing regulations came into effect, but the cost of certain brands varies greatly between retailers.

A Sunday World survey found some have increased the cost of a 700ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka by up to €10 when compared with their Christmas prices.

Four supermarkets were sold out of slabs of cans after customers rushed to take advantage of special offers over the weekend before the new prices were introduced.

The cost of a four-pack of beer has increased by up to €2 in some stores, while 12-packs now cost between €20 and €24.

Lidl had been selling Smirnoff vodka for €15 during Christmas – down from €21 – but is now charging €25.

A 700ml bottle of whiskey or gin cannot be sold for less than €22.09, a 700ml bottle of vodka for less than €20.71, a 750ml bottle of wine (12.5pc alcohol) for less than €7.40 and a pint of lager for less than €1.93.

When contacted for comment, Lidl did not clarify why it is now charging €25 for Smirnoff.

Aldi is charging €20.71 for 700ml of Smirnoff. The same bottle will costs €21 in Dunnes and €23 in some SuperValu stores.

Some supermarkets were still in the process of updating prices when the Irish Independent visited yesterday.

Old offers were still on display, including a 24-pack of Carlsberg for €15 and bottles of wine for less than €7.

Slabs of 24 cans of beer or cider will now cost around €40, but none of the supermarkets visited had any available.

A SuperValu offer of a 24-pack of Budweiser 500ml cans will increase from €18 to a minimum of €40.71.

A 12-pack of Sainte Etienne premium lager in Aldi now costs €22.72.

Four cans of Karpackie Polish lager were previously priced at €6 but now cost €8.

The cost of bottles of beer has also risen, with the price varying between supermarkets.

Twenty 300ml bottles of Carlsberg are being sold for between €20 and €23.

Discount stores that previously sold 750ml bottles of wine for €5 now have to charge at least €7.10, depending on the percentage of alcohol.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the measure would “reduce the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol and delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people”.

However, the move has been criticised by some students unions.

Róisín Nic Lochlainn, president of the students union at NUI Galway, described the strategy as “very regressive”.

“There are going to be floods of people going to the North,” she told Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live .

“There were floods of people going to the supermarkets trying to stock up on all the alcohol before it increased.

“All it is going to do is push people further into poverty and increase reliance on other unsafe substances.”

Scotland introduced minimum pricing in 2018.

A Newcastle University study published last May found alcohol sales in Scotland fell by almost 8pc.

Retailers say they will continue to fully comply with the regulations.

John Curtin, group buying director of Aldi, said: “We have been planning for this significant change in alcohol pricing for some time now. Our award-winning range will continue to be the best value in the market.

“We will continue to take a responsible approach to the sale of alcohol at all our stores and fully comply with all relevant legislation and regulatory requirements.

“All pricing is in line with minimum unit pricing regulations.”

Lidl said that minimum unit pricing would "have an impact” on the price of some products.

“We are proactive in adhering and updating our policies in line with legislation,” a spokesperson said.

The Sunday World also contacted Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes Stores for comment on the new regulations.

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