How might the alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) impact upon local off-sales shops and the communities which they serve?

Alasdair Forsyth, Anne Ellaway, Neil Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: The aim of the study was to assess the likely impact of the Scottish Government's proposed alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) policy on community off-sales outlets (convenience stores or corner shops), and, in turn, on the local people who purchase drinks at such premises. This research adds to our knowledge by linking sales of alcohol products which will be affected by MUP (e.g. at the proposed 50 ppu) to the types of communities where these are the 'drinks-of-choice'.

METHODS: A survey of independent community off-sales operating within the city of Glasgow, Scotland (n = 271) returned 144 completed questionnaires enquiring about each shop's customer base, best-selling alcohol products and participating shopkeepers' views on MUP. Responses were measured against current alcohol product prices (i.e. whether potentially affected by MUP) and local levels of socio-economic deprivation.

RESULTS: Participating shopkeepers were divided in their support for MUP, although more were in favour than against. Support for MUP tended to be rooted in business concerns. A majority reported having at least one best-selling alcohol product which will be affected by the proposed MUP policy at current prices, with the beverages that would be most affected (e.g. white cider) tending to be best-sellers at shops serving deprived communities.

CONCLUSION: MUP is likely to impact most in socio-economically deprived communities. This is also where alcohol-related health and other inequalities are currently greatest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96–102
Number of pages7
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism : international journal of the Medical Council on Alcoholism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • community off-sales
  • Glasgow
  • alcohol minimum unit pricing
  • MUP
  • government policy
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Choice Behavior
  • Commerce/economics
  • Humans
  • Costs and Cost Analysis/economics
  • Alcoholic Beverages/economics
  • Scotland/epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Alcohol Drinking/economics


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