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13th Nov 2020

Alcohol sales in supermarkets are changing: here’s how

Melissa Carton

Its aim is to make alcohol less attractive to young people.

New legislation is due to be brought in this week that will change how we can buy alcohol in supermarkets.

This new legislation will see a barrier put around alcohol in supermarkets so that the products are cut off from the rest of the store.

According to guidelines under the new law, supermarkets are expected to have:

• A separate area of the shop separated by a physical barrier which has a minimum height of not less than 1.2 metres and through which alcohol and advertisements for alcohol are not visible.

• Enclosed adjacent storage units on the shop floor in which the products are not visible up to a minimum height of 1.5 metres.

• A maximum of three adjacent units, each of 1-metre width and 2.2 metres high.

The hope is that with alcohol being separated from the rest of the store, fewer people will be encouraged to buy it.

The sale of alcohol has significantly risen since the start of lockdown and the HSE hopes that with these new rules in place, they can reduce alcohol consumption.

According to Eunan McKinney, head of communications and advocacy at lobby group Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI), said:

“We’re delighted this day has finally arrived. These measures provide us all with a new opportunity to end the normalisation of alcohol throughout society. Alcohol is not an ordinary product and should never be seen as such.

The significance of placing alcohol controls on a statutory basis, ending a somewhat cavalier self-regulatory approach, is highly important.”

The new regulations regarding the sale and stocking of alcohol have come into effect in supermarkets this week.