Wine is winner since Scottish smoking ban
Since the smoking ban in Scotland, more people are drinking wine when they go out. Research by AC Nielsen has shown that while Scottish pubs and restaurants have seen their alcohol sales fall since the ban came in north of the border in March last year, sales of wine have risen.
In the 12 months to March, three per cent more wine was sold compared to before the ban, while alcohol sales overall in licensed premises were down around five per cent.
Beer has been the hardest hit – sales over the same period were down some seven per cent, which is equivalent to 36 million pints. Not surprisingly, they have declined most in the winter months when smokers are less inclined to stand outside and have a cigarette.
Graham Page, consultant at Nielsen, said that the increase in wine sales suggests a shift in the type of consumer frequenting pubs and restaurants. In fact, analysis of Nielsen’s Pub Track service, which tracks managed houses, shows sales of main meals in Scottish managed pubs were up 14 per cent. Assumedly, this increase is as a result of more people being happier to eat out now they are not surrounded by smoke and the increase in wine sales maybe on the back of this, as wine often accompanies food.
Whether a similar pattern will emerge in England after the 1st July smoking ban only time will tell. According to Nielsen, 76 per cent of people are non-smokers. That’s a lot of people who might find smoke-free pubs, clubs and bars a much more attractive prospect in the future.