White cider dropped as minimum pricing law arrives
A number of off-licences have cleared their shelves of strong cider ahead of the minimum pricing law which came into force today (Tuesday).
The new law – which states that a unit of alcohol must cost at least 50 pence – has been introduced by the Scottish government in a bid to make people drink less cheap, high-strength alcohol.
Several shop managers in the isles told The Shetland Times that they will no longer stock white cider because of its increased price.
Simon Hill is the manager of the Wine Shop on Commercial Street, Lerwick.
“We used to have a cider called White Strike that used to be £2.99,” he said. “Today it would have to be £7.50. I think we sold the last bottle on Saturday.”
In Scalloway, The Checkout manager Sheila Laurenson said the business is not ordering White Strike anymore because “no folk will buy it”.
Two-litre bottles of the product had been popular with certain customers, she said, but she believes they will move onto cheaper drinks.
“It’s like putting fags up [in price] – it won’t stop them smoking,” Ms Laurenson added.
Licensing standards officers have been visiting off-licences to ensure the new law is being followed, providing guidance where necessary.
The Scottish government claims minimum pricing will save 58 lives in the next year and lead to fewer hospital admissions.
See the Shetland Times print edition on Friday for more reaction to minimum pricing.