Alcohol pricing

We will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol.

The availability of cheap alcohol has been a key contributing factor in the development of this country's binge-drinking culture.

The government will no longer tolerate the sale of heavily discounted alcohol which leads to irresponsible behaviour and unacceptable levels of crime and health harms.

Alcohol has been so heavily discounted that it is now possible to buy a can of lager for as little as 20p and a two litre bottle of cider for £1.69.

Reduce alcohol consumption

Minimum unit pricing will tackle the issue of excessive alcohol consumption and heavily discounted alcohol sold in supermarkets and off-licences. This approach aims to reduce alcohol consumption and curb practices such as 'pre-loading' before a night out.

We will consult on this proposal and a ban on multi-buy discounts in the forthcoming months. We will update these pages when more information is available.

Example retail prices

Based on a 40p minimum unit price (for illustrative purposes) the minimum selling prices for various product types would be as follows:

Table of retail price examples
Product Volume Strength (abv) Number of units minimum selling price
Vodka 70cl 37.5% 26.3 £10.52
Whiskey 70cl 40% 28 £11.20
Cider (high strength) 2 litres 7.5% 15 £6.00
Cider 2 litres 5.3% 10.6 £4.24
Perry 750ml 7.5% 5.6 £2.24
Liqueur 700ml 17% 11.9 £4.76
Alcopop 700ml 4% 2.8 £1.12
Lager (4 pack) 440ml (x 4) 5% (x 4) 2.2 (x 4) £3.52
Red wine 750ml 13% 9.8 £3.92
White wine 750ml 12% 9 £3.60
Champagne 750ml 12.5% 9.4 £3.76
Sherry 750ml 17.5% 13.1 £5.24

Consultation on a ban on multi-buy alcohol promotions in supermarkets and off-licences

We will conduct a consultation to explore the case for a ban on multi-buy alcohol promotions in supermarkets and off-licences.

The proposed ban would remove the incentive for individuals to buy more than they actually want. A ban would prevent alcohol retailers from applying discounts to multi-packs of alcohol and would prevent multi-buy offers such as 'buy-one-get-one-free', '3-for-the-price-of-2' and 'buy-6-get-20%-off'.

Multi-buy alcohol promotion examples
The following promotions would be banned The following promotions would NOT be banned
2 for the price of 1
3 for 2
buy 6 get 20% off
Half price/ a third off/ £x off any individual item
24 cans of Stella costing less than 24 times what one can of Stella costs in your store Cut the price of a single can so that it’s as cheap as the ones in the multi-pack
Big bottle (containing twice as much as a can) costing less than 2 cans (not the same ‘container’)
Sell a case of wine cheaper than 12x the individual price at which you sell the same bottles Stop selling individual bottles, and price the case however you like
3 for £10 where each bottle costs more than £3.33 3 for £10 as long as you can also buy each one for £3.33

Ban on the sale of alcohol below Duty+VAT

Given these significant steps, we do not intend to continue with plans to implement the ban on the below cost sale of alcohol below the cost of Duty+VAT.

Alcohol strategy

More information is available in our alcohol strategy.

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