New poll shows minimum pricing will undermine the great British pub

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SABMiller has today released new poll results from YouGov which show that, contrary to the Government’s claims of a boost to the industry, a 45p minimum price for alcohol will turn people away from pubs.

YouGov polled 1261 people who had had an alcoholic drink in the last week1 to find out whether a minimum price would make them more or less likely to go to the pub. The results show that at a minimum price of 45p:

Less than 1%(0.36)% say they will drink less at home and more in the pub
39% will drink less in the pub
45% will continue to drink the same as they did before, both at home and in the pub
Pubs in some regions will be more affected than others, with 54% of people surveyed in the West Midlands saying they’ll drink less in the pub compared to 28% in Scotland
People who are constantly struggling to keep up with their outgoings are the most likely to drink less in the pub (56%)
The report also shows that some people will cut back on other things in order to cover the increased cost of what they drink at home.

16% of respondents said they would be very or fairly likely to cut back on other areas of spending; of those struggling or falling behind with their outgoings this rose to 24%
17% of those who thought they would end up spending more on alcohol said they would cut down on leisure activities, for example going to the cinema, and 16% said they would cut back on clothing
13% of those struggling or falling behind with payments said they would cut back on food, compared to 8% of the general population. 18% of 18-24-year-olds said this was also something that they would do.
Commenting, SABMiller’s Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs, Mike Short said:

“This shows that people don’t behave in the way computer models predict. If the Government really wants to cut anti-social binge drinking it needs to tackle that culture with better education for parents and in schools, targeted local schemes and proper enforcement of the existing licensing laws.”

Tim Martin, Wetherspoon’s Chairman, said:

“The fact that less than 1% of people said they would drink in the pub more often and less at home puts paid to the Government’s claim that minimum pricing will help the UK pub industry.”

Notes to editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,115 adults , of which 1261 had drunk in the last week. Fieldwork was carried out between 7 and 9 January 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
The explanation of minimum pricing included in the survey was as follows:

There have been proposals to change the law so that there is a minimum price for alcoholic drinks, according to how much alcohol they contain. If this law is passed, some drinks sold in shops and supermarkets will increase in price. A minimum price of 45p per unit has been suggested, which according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association would see 52% of prices in supermarkets and off-licences rise overnight.

Below are some examples of expected price rises:

A 12-pack of lager (4% ABV) would rise in price from ?8 to ?9.50
A bottle of wine (13% ABV) would rise in price from ?3.69 to ?4.39
A bottle of vodka (37.5% ABV) would rise in price from ?9.00 to ?11.81
A bottle of whisky (40% ABV) would rise in price from ?10.32 to ?12.60
A 2 litre bottle of cider (5% ABV) would rise in price from ?3.20 to ?4.50

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries. The group’s portfolio includes global brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch; as well as leading local brands such as Aguila (Colombia), Castle (South Africa), Miller Lite (USA), Snow (China), Victoria Bitter (Australia) and Tyskie (Poland). SABMiller also has a growing soft drinks businesses and is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.

In the year ended 31 March 2012 the group reported EBITA of US$5,634 million and group revenue of US$31,388 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.