A8(a). Alcohol Unit Reduction: Reporting

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to. They will have up to 2,000 characters to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to. All delivery plans will be published on this website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year.

For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update. Further information on the reporting arrangements for each alcohol pledge for the reporting period 2014/2015 is available.

Partners will be contacted directly and asked to upload their updates on the Partner Dashboard for each of the pledges they have signed up to.

All annual updates will be published on this website.

The annual update return should set out that action taken in the 12 month reporting period covered and clearly specify the start and end dates.

Where it is easy to do so, partners should quantify their company’s contribution towards reaching the 1bn unit reduction ambition as part of their annual reporting. However, this will not be compulsory. For example, producers that reduce the strength of an existing product could calculate the difference between the number of units sold after reformulation compared to how many units would have been sold if the change had not been made.

Achievement of the pledge will be measured on an industry-wide basis including using HMRC clearance data and sales data gathered by AC Neilsen market research company and overseen by the Portman Group and ultimately assessed by the Alcohol Network’s monitoring and evaluation sub-group.

This data will record industry-wide sales across a range of alcoholic strength bandings, and will be used to track how sales volumes change across different strength drinks, calculate industry-wide sales in terms of units and verify whether or not the market share of lower-alcohol products has increased. This will help to gauge whether or not an increase in sales of new products has simply resulted in an increase in the total number of units of alcohol sold.

The Alcohol Network’s monitoring and evaluation sub-group will agree the methodology to be used to calculate a baseline for unit sales from March 2011 and agree a date from which the impact on health harms of new lower alcohol products will be measured.

For individual companies the criteria for success of the pledge will be:

  • Have companies delivered what they said they would in their delivery plans?

The success of the overall pledge requires industry achieving two objectives:

1) An overall reduction in the annual numbers of units sold across the UK of at least 1 billion units

2) That 1 billion units of the above reduction can be identified as resulting from actions taken as part of this pledge i.e. that consumers drink the same products but which now contain less alcohol by volume, consumers switch to lower alcohol products, the actions that companies take increases the market share of lower alcohol products at the expense of those with higher alcohol content and consumers switch to smaller measures.

Calculating contributions

Companies may want to quantify their contribution when completing their delivery plans and/or annual updates. The contribution of reformulated brands will be assessed via the reduction in strength (abv) multiplied by the product’s annual sales at the time of reformulation and converted to units.

In relation to new lower-strength products, these will be measured by their annual sales volume in 2015 multiplied by the difference between their actual strength and the current category average strength (as at November 2011) with interim annual measurements, based upon annual sales at the point of assessment, to monitor progress up to 2015.

Currently any other activity in relation to supporting this pledge by promoting greater choice in lower-alcohol products [or moving to smaller servings] will not be measured directly in terms of an individual contribution towards removing one billion units. Instead, companies should provide evidence of the impact of the specific actions undertaken and the Monitoring and Evaluation group would estimate their contribution towards helping to meet the 1bn unit reduction goal.

Examples of calculating contribution:

Current (provisional) average strengths (abv) to be used are Beer, 4.2%; Cider 5%; Wine 12.5%; RTDs, 4.5%.

A new 2.8%abv beer selling 500,000 litres p.a by 2015 =(4.2-2.8)*500,000 = 700,000 units removed

Contribution of a new 9% wine selling 800,000 litres by 2015 =(12.5-9)*800,000 = 2,800,000 units removed

Reformulation of current cider brand currently selling 1,500,000 litres from 5.2%abv to 4.4% abv =
(5.2-4.4)*1,500,000 =1,200,000 units removed

Reformulation of current beer brand currently selling 10,000,000 litres from 5%abv to 4.7% abv =
(5-4.7)*10,000,000 = 3,000,000 units removed

It is recognised that for certain spirits there are complications regarding legal definitions which specify specific minimum strengths for named spirit drinks (e.g. to be called “whisky” one of the requirements that a drink must meet is to be at least 40% abv). However, if brands are currently above these minimums then the same methodology as outlined above would apply to reformulations. Innovative ideas for contributing to this pledge from the spirit drink industry are welcomed.


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