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Scotland's BOGOF ban hasn't reduced wine consumption

As part of the Alcohol Act 2010 the Scottish Government introduced a ban on multi-buys such as Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF), in the belief it would tackle Scotland's alcohol consumption issues by reducing consumption. However, findings released yesterday, by the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, and published in academic journal Addiction, showed there was no evidence that the ban of multi-buys had reduced the purchasing of beer, cider, wine or spirits in the period up to June 2012 and that the ban had not reduced the total amount of alcohol units purchased.

Indeed, in June 2012, during an interview with Steve Lewis, CEO of Majestic Wines, it was apparent that the ban on multi-buy deals had not hindered the retailer’s performance and may have actually boosted sales at outlets north of the Scottish border. This, he explained, was because it allowed those shopping in Scotland to be “more varied in the product they buy.” He said that overall, shoppers have simply increased the number of times they buy wine, therefore the average volume purchased across the year has not altered.

The Wine Nation report 2012 also pointed out that heavy wine shoppers have not changed their behaviour and that switching the promotional strategy to a low single bottle price has actually encouraged new, lighter shoppers to trial, increasing wine penetration in Scotland since October 2011.