Minimum Unit Pricing has modest impact on the alcohol industry in Scotland

Minimum Unit Pricing has modest impact on the alcohol industry in Scotland

NHS Health Scotland commissioned Frontier Economics to evaluate the economic impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on producers and retailers of alcoholic drinks in Scotland.

So far, we have conducted case studies with a range of businesses in Scotland and reviewed empirical evidence on the industry’s performance.

Our initial report, published today, found that the short-term effects of the policy have been modest. Those interviewed reported that overall, MUP has led to a decrease in the volume of alcohol sold, but that this was largely offset by increased prices. The effects of MUP on producer revenues and profits were also small, with wholesale prices unaffected by MUP.

No retailers or producers reported closing stores or production facilities, reducing staff numbers or reducing investment as a result of MUP. We also did not find evidence that MUP had a significant impact on the profitability of Scottish retailers located near the border. More detail is available in the full report which can be found here.

We will publish our final report, including findings on longer-term industry impacts, in 2022.

Frontier regularly works with public and private sector clients on issues related to public health and wider public policy. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000.

Minimum Unit Alcohol Pricing 2019