09/12/2011 11:22 GMT

Sales Of Alcohol Down In Scotland Since Ban On Multi-Buy Deals

Alcohol sales have fallen since the ban on multi-buy deals was introduced in October, new figures suggest.

Retail analysts Neilsen said sales of wine fell by 5%, spirits 3% and beer 8% during the first eight weeks of the ban, compared with the same period of 2010.

Sales of wine in England and Wales were down 4% and spirits by 1%, although beer sales were up 1% during the period.

SNP MSP Bob Doris, deputy convener of the Scottish Parliament's Health Committee, welcomed comments from Nielsen's client services manager Gavin Humphreys who said "the measure has had an impact".

He said: "These early statistics show the ban on multi-buy deals is working."

Mr Doris described the contrast between Scotland and England as "extremely encouraging".

He added: "The multi-buy ban was to target those people who go to supermarkets for one bottle of wine and end up buying three instead due to these offers. This is helping us reduce alcohol over-consumption but more needs to be done.

"That is why the SNP is dedicated to introducing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol so we can raise the price of the cheap supermarket white ciders, lager and value spirits."

Mr Humphreys told BBC News: "Whilst we can not categorically attribute all the declines in Scotland purely down to the multi-buy ban, it does appear that the measure has had an impact.

"There will be other factors at play, influencing shopper behaviour, such as the economy and general cutting back and stretching of budgets. But if the measure was designed to cut consumption then the immediate sales figures suggest it is working."