In a word no. While pubs are closing in their thousands, many blame it on cheap supermarket booze. Here is some of my research.
“The other major reason cited is cheap supermarket drink. My research has suggested that supermarket drink pre ban was just as cheap then as it is now. The first quote is from the Business Section of The Guardian from July 2004. “But supermarkets sold alcohol at a fraction of the price it was on sale for in pubs, he said. Some were selling brand name cider for 51p a can and export strength lager for 64p during the Euro 2004 football championships.”
In a letter dated 28th March 2007 Ian R Loe the Research Manager of CAMRA to the Competition Commission states:
“Research by CAMRA in the period just before Christmas, sound that supermarkets were selling Fosters and Carling for the equivalent of 54p a pint…a pint of beer in a pub 148p to 213p from 1995 to 2005…the cost of supermarket lager ..the average price is down from 70.8p to 67.4p..” Let me remind you this is 4 months before the smoking ban.
The most obvious evidence of this is from This Is Money where on the 21st September 2006 the prices in Tesco were listed for Fosters lager, Red Smirnoff Red Label Vodka and Jack Daniels. The 2010 prices were taken on the 12th August from tesco.com and tescom.com for 2011 on the 2nd July.
Beer and spirits 2006 2010 2011
Wine 2004 2010 2011
* (Adjusted from 440ml)
** (special offer reduced from £8.99)
*** (special offer reduced from £6.99)
**** (special offer reduced from £6.99)
I hope this ends the urban myth that supermarket booze all of a sudden became cheap after the smoking ban.