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Binge drink anger over bargain beer

A trade leader has slammed a beer “giveaway” deal by Sainsbury’s which sees a bottle of 330ml Budweiser on sale for just 37 pence.

The supermarket chain is offering 20-bottle packs of 5% abv Budweiser for £7.49p, slashing its normal retail price by half.

Federation of Licensed Victuallers chief executive Tony Payne says this is one of the lowest off-trade prices he has ever encountered for a premium strength beer.

“This works out to less than 70 pence a pint for a strong beer, which to my mind is something which should cause real concern.

“While we have almost come to expect cheap offers at Christmas or Easter this deal appears to be run-of-the-mill and not linked to any specific event,” he said.

Licensee Nigel Maud, of the New Inn, St Owen’s Cross, Hereford, claimed letting people buy 20 bottles of Bud at such prices “leaves the door open to binge drinking”.

Maud, a Marston’s tied tenant, added: “Why is this not classed as irresponsible retailing when we would have to sell the same product for around £40?”

MP John Grogan, whose Commons Early Day Motion attacking cheap supermarket alcohol has now attracted 192 signatures, said Sainsbury’s appears to have no shame whatsoever.

“Budweiser is the drink to be seen with, especially with the youth market, and offers like this will surely encourage young people to drink to excess before they have even set foot out of the house for a night out,” he said.

Morning Advertiser - 12 May 2007
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