Asda flogs beer for less than 50p a bottle

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Twenty four bottles of premium strength lager for £11. That works out at 45p a bottle. Not a bad deal from Asda. But Asda's cheap beer offer has been hit by criticism from health experts who claims the company is acting irresponsibly, encouraging more binge drinking. Especially when Asda recently claimed it would not flog beer below cost price.



Loss leader?

"This offer is in fully terms of that [cost price] agreement," an Asda press spokesperson told us. They also insisted that 45p for a 300ml bottle of beer was not a loss leader. By any account, it's extraordinarily cheap booze.

"This is another example of a retailer on the one hand pledging to act responsibly while at the same time offering ridiculously cheap offers when buying in bulk," Professor Ian Gilmore, an adviser to the Royal College of Physicians, told the Mail.

Because beer is bulky - especially with offers like these - then you tend to use the car to collect it. Which means you tend to often buy a whole load of goods at the same time. Average profits for the brewer in offers like these are tiny, often 1p a can. (And that's just the average, provided they sell enough. The breweries must hate the practice.)

"Stonking"

Asda describe the deal as a "stonking" offer for its customers. But in some cases, Asda is now selling beer cheaper than some brands of posh bottled water.

So are they being irresponsible? Of course they are, encouraging the potential for alcohol-related illness later on life, which costs the NHS £3bn a year. On Asda's website, there's a lot of talk about low prices but also helping customers find healthy affordable products. "Good for people and for the planet".

What do you think - and will you be snapping up their cheap Budweiser?

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