19 April 2011

Pre-mix spirits drinkers rejoice

Media coverage of the AERF report on Channel 7's The Morning Show

WAR has again been waged, but the question this time is who will really benefit?

Woolworths and Coles are slashing alcohol prices on pre-mix spirits, such as Bundaberg Rum and cola and Jim Beam and cola cans. The major supermarkets have been at war with their prices for bread, milk, eggs, chicken and even laundry detergent, using slogans along the lines of "because everyone needs milk./bread/eggs/etc." Does everyone need alcohol? What next - cigarette prices slashed?

According to media reports, the alcohol price war started a week ago, right around the time a report, commissioned by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AERF) found that more than four million Australian's drink to get drunk. About half of those surveyed said they get drunk at least once a week. Thanks to the supermarket giants, these people will now have more money to fund their efforts providing their indulgence is pre-mixed spirits.

Why would the supermarkets choose alcohol as their next price war?

AERF chief executive Michael Thorn said that over the past decade Australia's problem with alcohol had got worse.

"There's been an increase in violence, an increase in hospitalisations. There's an ongoing indigenous despair and rising community costs conservatively put at $36 billion a year," he said in Canberra, April 14.
Lowering prices on alcohol cannot possibly help the situation. Thorn said aggressive marketing of alcohol by both producers and retailers tells a sorry tale for Australians. He called for a minimum price on alcohol because there is clear evidence that price influences consumption.
Won’t anyone think of the children? The alcohol war is also likely to raise concerns regarding the fact that pre-mixed “alcopop” drinks are a source of major concern in relation to young and under age binge drinking by health campaigners.
It is easy to point the finger at who is responsible for alcohol issues in society Government? Retailers? Individuals? The real issue is that Woolworths' and Coles' actions cannot possibly help. One thing is for sure, discounting pre-mixes just in time for the Easter/Anzac Day long weekend is sure to boost profits - not that they needed the help considering the extra grocery expenditure that will take place also.

For the record, Woolworths own and operate Woolworths Liquor, BWS, Dan Murphy's and Langton bottle shops. Coles own and operate 1st Choice, Liquorland and Vintage Cellars bottle shops.  
Is discounting pre-mixed spirits a good thing or a bad thing?

1 comment:

  1. Check out this one too, http://hungrybeast.abc.net.au/media/beast-file-woolies-and-coles