It’s that time of year again when the supermarkets like to discount alcohol as a loss leader to attract the public into their stores hoping they’ll leave with armfuls of pressies and everything they need for the festive period. After all Argos and Currys don’t sell below cost booze do they? So what better weapon to get ahead of their competitors in the festive bun fight?

The supermarkets have effectively killed off the pub trade by selling below cost booze for so long that the consumer believes that a bottle of vodka should be £11 (as in most supermarkets at present). Bearing in mind that £8.53 of this is duty and tax, that only leaves £2.47 for the supermarket margin, the glass, the packaging, the transport and the producer’s margin! We can clearly see here why the government is so reluctant to tackle this issue!

Sadly the on-trade is quickly being killed off by these tactics. I’ve just opened a brochure from Asda advertising three wines for £10. Would you believe that £7.02 of that is excise duty and vat again? Leaving £2.98 for the supermarket margin, producer’s margin, glass, packaging and transport from the other side of the world. How good do we expect that wine to be then? Is it any wonder that these wines tend to be more chemical solution than grape product, or that we feel horrendously ill the day after drinking this rubbish?

We may think that some cheap wine would give us a merry Christmas, but it will  definitely give us a Boxing Day to forget!