Waitrose first retailer to offer drinking guidelines

Supermarket chain Waitrose is to promote sensible drinking with the launch of a marketing initiative in all its stores, recommending the maximum weekly consumption of alcohol. The initiative is being planned for next month.

A spokesman for Waitrose claims the move is a first for UK retailers. In the past, retailers have been criticised for encouraging binge drinking through massive price cuts and promotions. As part of the project, Waitrose will also include “shelf markers” that will explain legal drinking requirements such as underage drinking.

The move comes just as retailers and pub owners are teaming up to aggressively market the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS), an identity card to help retailers and bar staff to curb underage drinking.

British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive John McNamara says that retailers are pledging investment behind the scheme in an attempt to market to teenagers and their parents. He adds that the industry has asked the Government to support the scheme. Tesco is also planning to promote a labelling initiative on alcohol products sold in its stores, with guidelines on the reasonable amounts that can be consumed by men and women.

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