NHS Health Scotland
MUP had modest short-term economic impact on alcohol drinks industry in Scotland
In an initial assessment of the effects of Minimum Unit Pricing, participants reported that a decrease in alcohol sold was offset by increased prices. The overall impact on retailers varied depending on the types of products sold. The effects of MUP on producer revenues and profits was thought to be negative but small, with only a small proportion of producers’ total outputs affected.
As part of the wider evaluation portfolio, NHS Health Scotland commissioned Frontier Economics to evaluate the economic impact of MUP on producers and retailers of alcoholic drinks in Scotland in the nine months following its introduction. Eight case studies were conducted with a range of organisations representing different parts of the industry, including a supermarket, convenience and specialist off-trade retailers, an on-trade retailer, spirits producers and two brewers.
The researchers also interviewed retailers on both sides of the Scotland-England border about whether they thought MUP had led to an increase in people from Scotland buying alcohol from stores in England. There was some evidence of this, although retailers noted that cross-border purchasing was happening prior to the introduction of MUP, as many consumers who live near the border in Scotland work in Carlisle or Berwick-upon-Tweed, or conduct weekly grocery shopping in these towns.
Frontier Economics will publish a further report in 2022, exploring the longer-term industry impacts of MUP. Other studies in the MUP evaluation portfolio will also help to understand the economic impact of MUP. These include studies of impacts on small retailers, changes in the distribution of the price of alcoholic drinks sold in Scotland, changes in price and product range, and changes in sales of alcoholic drinks.
Andrew Leicester, Manager at Frontier Economics, yesterday said:
“The respondents interviewed in this study suggested that demand changed in a number of ways in the first nine months following MUP coming into force, with sales of products that were previously retailing below the minimum unit price decreasing the most. Demand for smaller sizes, low-alcohol products or premium products less affected by price increases, has seen some producers and retailers adapt their strategy and product offering in response to MUP.
“No retailers or producers reported closing stores or production facilities, reducing staff numbers or reducing investment as a result of MUP. The research has so far found no evidence of MUP having a significant impact on the profitability, turnover or employment of Scottish retailers located near the border.
“The short-term impacts of MUP on the Scottish alcoholic drinks industry seen in this study are difficult to differentiate from other factors affecting the market – such as one-off events like the football World Cup and periods of good weather. That is why the next phase of the study is so important. It will present evidence on longer-term impacts, combining industry case studies with analysis of administrative data to look at bigger picture industry trends in Scotland, compared with England and Wales where MUP does not apply.”
Neil Craig, Head of Evaluation at NHS Health Scotland, yesterday said:
“NHS Health Scotland are leading a robust and comprehensive evaluation of Minimum Unit Pricing, which will provide a full understanding of what difference the legislation is making and to whom.
“That of course includes the impact MUP could make to levels of alcohol-related health and social harm, but also requires us to assess the effect on the alcoholic drinks industry in Scotland. We welcome the involvement of a cross-section of retailers and producers in this initial stage of the economic impact study and look forward to the next phase reporting in 2022”.
Latest News from
NHS Health Scotland
Vaccinate globally and reduce cancer-causing HPV in Scotland16/12/2019 15:10:00
In the lead up to Christmas NHS Health Scotland is encouraging Scotland’s S1 school children to learn about the HPV vaccine being provided to boys and girls this academic year, and gift a vaccine for a child in a developing country through UNICEF by completing Kids Boost Immunity (KBI) lessons.
TV and panto star says get protected against flu this Christmas12/12/2019 11:15:00
Children and adults with health conditions, and parents of children aged 2-5, are urged to protect themselves and their children against flu, which can be a serious and fatal illness for these groups of people.
Scottish Affairs Committee call for public health approach to drug use07/11/2019 13:47:00
The Scottish Affairs Committee recently (04 November 2019) published the report of their comprehensive inquiry into problematic drug use in Scotland.
Scottish Affairs Committee call for public health approach to drug use06/11/2019 14:20:00
The Scottish Affairs Committee has published the report of their comprehensive inquiry into problematic drug use in Scotland.
Experts gather in Scotland for summit to tackle poverty and inequality05/11/2019 09:15:00
Leaders from across Scotland are gathering in Glasgow to address the country’s significant public health challenges.
NHS Digital’s Clinical Adviser for maternity wins a Gold Chief Midwifery Officer Award29/10/2019 09:15:00
A Clinical Adviser at NHS Digital who is leading the charge to digitise maternity services has been recognised with a special gold award from England’s Chief Midwifery Officer.
Scotland’s National Transport Strategy going the right direction for public health25/10/2019 09:15:00
NHS Health Scotland welcome Scotland’s National Transport Strategy as part of a whole system approach for good health and wellbeing. Transport is a fundamental part of the places we live in, which are important determinants of health, and should be central to their development and design.
A public health approach to justice21/10/2019 14:15:00
Today, Scotland is host to a major conference aimed at changing lives by strengthening links between public health and the justice system.