Charity Drinkaware says it has seen a significant spike in public interest in information on alcohol, particularly regarding Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) that went ‘live’ on January 4. MUP sets a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold.
Statistics released by the charity show that between January 1 and 6, its MUP explainer page attracted almost 18,000 (17,926) page views, making it one of Drinkaware’s most sought-after resources over the holiday period.
Consumers also spent longer than normal digesting the information available, with the average time spent on the MUP page clocking in at 6mins 55sec, which Drinkaware described as unprecedented for its site.
“Covid has shifted drinking behaviour significantly, for many this means drinking more and for others drinking less," Drinkaware CEO Sheena Horgan said. "But the pandemic has also pivoted attitudes from being complacent about risky drinking, to actively wanting to know and understand consumption better.
"Drinkaware has consistently in 2021, and will continue in 2022, to encourage and meet this appetite with non-judgmental, factual information and practical advice and tips to encourage and embed healthier behaviour”.
The introduction of MUP has drawn some criticism. The management of one Cork retailer, Sam's Gala Dunmanway, said: “It goes against everything that every retailer in the country spends their time trying to avoid, and that’s increasing prices".
But Drinkaware says it welcomes MUP as one important element of the suite of measures in the Public Health Alcohol Act, that will support the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harm.