Alcopops tax passed through the senate with a resulting 70% increase in the tax, distillers introduce voluntary labelling
With the government reviewing a multitude of the Food & beverage industries it is interesting to see the voluntary initiatives being introduced by the Confectionery, Fast Food and now the liquor industry.
While the alcoholic beverages sees the writing on the wall with tougher regulations on the horizon. Like the fast food industry, the distillers are taxing a pro active approach before the government introduces there own legislation.
The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia Inc (DSICA) are introducing labeling to feature the message “Is your drinking harming yourself and others?”
The question is whether the impact of this type of label is as effective as the current cigarette labeling. Will a 16 year old say “Hey Dude, better stop drinking as this is not only causing irreputable damage to my brain cells & kidneys but also affecting my friends”?
With a Government Senate enquiry into the Ready to drink alcohol beverages from June 2008 showed some disturbing figured regarding the consumption of pre mixed drinks for both male and females in the 12-19 year old age group.
To put the RTD or ready to drink market into perspective according to this Senate enquiry, RTDs increased from three per cent of total alcohol sales of $942 million in 1997 to 15 per cent of total sales of $5134 million in 2006 or a massive increase of 450%.
The interesting point is that a standard drink is only 1.5 RTD cans/bottles or no more than 4 standard drinks on an average day – and never more than 6 per day.
No more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one per hour after that.
For women No more than 2 standard drinks on an average day – and never more than 4 per day. No more than one standard drink per hour
So with so much at stake, it is well worth protecting this market before the government introduces there own tougher regulations.
Unfortunately, consumers generally modify behaviour for 2 reasons, availability & price. This has been anecdotally witness in New Zealand with tougher smoking laws making it difficult to smoke in public places or with car usage, remember paying $1.55 per litre for petrol? Did people reevaluate car usage, did public transport patronage increase?
So will wait and see the effects of the new Alcopops tax and alcohol warning labels on consumption.