Should non alcoholic wines, beers, stouts etc be treated as alcoholic drinks by supermarkets

Non alcoholic (alcohol reduced) wines, spirits, beers and stouts etc are treated by supermarkets in the UK as "Alcoholic drinks". They are excluded as an acceptable item when you have such things as "spend £30 and get £3 discount" etc or as currently with ASDA, the 10% discount with the Blue Light Card.
This is a glaring anomaly, as most such drinks have an alcohol content below 0.5% alcohol by volume. Cans of Ben Shaws Bitter Shandy found in the carbonated drinks isle is just below the 0.5% alcohol by volume and is acceptable product. 
In Wales its more frustrating as the Minimum Price Per Unit of Alcohol(MPU) seems to be applied to said drinks even though the Guidance from the Welsh Government  states that it should only be applies to drinks not exceeding 1.2 % alcohol by volume. 
Debates about should you bother with drinking non alcoholic drinks is something you argue about if you feel the need. Some people who take certain medication are advised not to drink alcohol, so this is halfway house as fizzy soft drinks may not have the desired appeal. ( get very bloated after 3 pints of Cola!!!)

Ok this is just a minor thing in debate of the Cost of Living Crisis but as ASDA says "Every Little Helps". What other anomalies within the food distribution/ selling system are there, that have a greater broader customer impact?
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  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,399
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    edited 24 July 2022 at 2:56AM
    Also can get ID d buying them - very annoying. They have to do the age check in Sainsbury's definitely because they are kept in the alcohol isle was the reason I was given.
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,137
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    I agree with you about the non/low alcoholic drinks. Anything that helps to ween many in this country off their alcoholic dependency and binge drinking would be a good thing.

    One anomaly that amazes me is the generic drug market. Why do people still pay £5-10 for branded drugs when the generic version with exactly the same active ingredients costs pence.

    PS. it is Tesco that says 'Every little helps' :)
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • custardy
    custardy Posts: 38,365
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    Also can get ID d buying them - very annoying. They have to do the age check in Sainsbury's definitely because they are kept in the alcohol isle was the reason I was given.
    I get ID'd buying Mountain Dew in Tesco
    So I wouldnt feel to singled out
  • Non alcoholic (alcohol reduced) wines, spirits, beers and stouts etc are treated by supermarkets in the UK as "Alcoholic drinks". They are excluded as an acceptable item when you have such things as "spend £30 and get £3 discount" etc or as currently with ASDA, the 10% discount with the Blue Light Card.
    This is a glaring anomaly, as most such drinks have an alcohol content below 0.5% alcohol by volume. Cans of Ben Shaws Bitter Shandy found in the carbonated drinks isle is just below the 0.5% alcohol by volume and is acceptable product. 
    In Wales its more frustrating as the Minimum Price Per Unit of Alcohol(MPU) seems to be applied to said drinks even though the Guidance from the Welsh Government  states that it should only be applies to drinks not exceeding 1.2 % alcohol by volume. 
    Debates about should you bother with drinking non alcoholic drinks is something you argue about if you feel the need. Some people who take certain medication are advised not to drink alcohol, so this is halfway house as fizzy soft drinks may not have the desired appeal. ( get very bloated after 3 pints of Cola!!!)

    Ok this is just a minor thing in debate of the Cost of Living Crisis but as ASDA says "Every Little Helps". What other anomalies within the food distribution/ selling system are there, that have a greater broader customer impact?

    There are many soft drinks that are not fizzy that you could drink instead that probably taste better.

    Personally i wouldn't think alcohol reduced drinks have that big of a market (but i may be wrong).
    I don't drink alcoholic drinks very often but when i do it's because they have the alcohol in them.
    When i want a non alcoholic drink i would go for a soft drink and not one that imitates the flavour of alcoholic drinks because soft drinks taste better.

    I agree with you about the non/low alcoholic drinks. Anything that helps to ween many in this country off their alcoholic dependency and binge drinking would be a good thing.

    One anomaly that amazes me is the generic drug market. Why do people still pay £5-10 for branded drugs when the generic version with exactly the same active ingredients costs pence.

    PS. it is Tesco that says 'Every little helps' :)

    That would only work if people drank alcoholic drinks for their taste, but i don't think many people do that!
  • Mnoee
    Mnoee Posts: 797
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    I enjoy the taste of non alcoholic beer. I'm currently waiting on a zoom gig by the comedian Mark Watson, who mentioned he's currently drinking a non alcoholic beer. I think they may be more popular than some think.

    I'm not affected by which shelf they're kept on, as I do online grocery shopping - I can see arguments for either side. I know years back when I worked in spoons we'd only sell alcohol free beer to over 18s - the same way that the law says over 16s can drink with a meal, but many restaurants have a blanket over 18s rule, it's up to the establishments. 
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,273
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    For a brief period last year Morrisons were not doing age checks on purchases of non-alcoholic beer, and I had hopes this sensible decision would spread to other sellers. Sadly the opposite happened and Morrisons have reinstated the check, I suspect it was an error removing it in the first place.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,750
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    I think if its sold in the alcohol aisle as alcohol-free beer/cider/wine it makes sense to age-check it as most of the time it looks the same as the with alcohol variety.

    At first glance this Stowford Press Low Alcohol Apple Cider - ASDA Groceries looks very similar as this Stowford Press Apple Cider - ASDA Groceries

    But the old fashioned shandy that is in the soft drinks aisle like this Ben Shaws Shandy 2L | Sainsbury's (sainsburys.co.uk) should be sold as a soft drink as those 2L bottles are obviously soft drink.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,267
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    If you’re talking about alcohol reduced items (which I think the majority are) then they still have alcohol in them even if it’s a tiny amount so calling them non-alcoholic technically isn’t accurate.

    Im guessing it’s much easier for the supermarkets to have them all under one category than trying to faff arising working out which goes where. 

    I like a low alcohol beer sometimes. Generally at an outdoor event in the summer when I’m driving but the pretend beer still gives the feeling. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,002
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    Low alcohol beer has become a lot nicer than the horrible stuff of old.
    When we're watching sport at home we mix alcohol and low alcohol beer so we drink less.
    I think it comes down to packaging, sometimes the difference is only 'alcohol free' on the box / container and some crafty soul could swap the contents if verification wasn't required (I thought of reasons why they verify age).
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • This is to prevent alcohol (and alcohol brands) being promoted to underage drinkers via promoting and selling alcohol-like drinks to underage drinkers.

    It is to prevent underage people becoming familiar with the look and taste of alcoholic products via the sale of non-alcoholic products. 

    This isn't likely to change because sadly we still have too much underage drinking in this country.
    Therefore, we have to have these rules to ultimately protect children and stop manufacturers making money by encouraging underage drinking.

    If you're old enough, you may remember Hooch and other alcopops that were designed to encourage "young people" to drink usually vodka based fruit juice drinks until the government/councils created more regulation.

    Another example of this in smoking products:

    There is a prohibition of the sale of vape products to under 18s even when they don't contain any tobacco or nicotine. 
    All cigarette packaging is plain so manufacturers can't create brand awareness amongst underage customers.

    Likewise, confectionary manufacturers aren't allowed to sell sweets in the shape of cigarettes anymore. 


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