Imagine a pub where you can buy a two-third pint measure and your glass provides unit information. These changes could be coming to a pub near you very soon, but will they make any difference to how much we drink?
We’ve talked about the government’s new Responsibility Deal in a couple of Conversations recently. Will it help make our food healthier, and could it encourage food chains to display calorie information more clearly?
But the reports that have caught my eye have been related to drink, with big alcohol companies making pledges that are set to dramatically change the way we’re served booze.
Responsibility Deal alcohol pledges
Molson Coors, the brewer of Carling and Grolsch, has said it will start providing alcohol unit information on its glasses as well as rolling out a two-third pint measure across all its brands. Heineken will also be distributing millions of branded glasses to pubs this year displaying unit information.
Both companies also plan to develop more lower-strength drinks. Molson Coors is focussing on coming up with more mid-strength products, while Heineken’s going one step further and creating a new low-strength version of one of its key brands.
Will these measures work?
This is all a great step forward for encouraging pint-drinking lager lovers to consume fewer units, but as someone who doesn’t fall into that category, I’m not sure it will do much to help me cut back.
What about the ‘buckets’ of wine we’re given if we forget to specify a small glass? I know I’d be shocked to see unit information on those. And that’s before you even consider the massive variety of strengths between different wines.
I’m glad to see such big names leading the way here, but others undoubtedly have to follow to make any real impact on everyone’s drinking habits.
When we discussed minimum alcohol pricing opinions were divided, with many commenters suggesting that stronger measures – such as hospital charges for treatment on drink-related illness – were just as important.
So what role do alcohol companies play in all this? Is it right for them to promoting more responsible drinking through their products – or should it be up to the individual to look after their own health?