Alcohol sales data are widely regarded as offering the most accurate means of estimating population-level alcohol consumption. Public Health Scotland uses retail sales data as part of the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme and has today published two reports examining the data.

The first report examines alcohol retail sales data from the two primary data providers in the UK and assesses how estimates of population-level alcohol consumption may differ between these two sources. The report also includes an assessment, using both data sources, of the impact of MUP on population level consumption in the first year following implementation - both sources demonstrate a reduction in per-adult alcohol sales.

The second report examines the validity and reliability of alcohol retail sales data when being used to estimate population level consumption. The findings show that alcohol retail sales data are more likely to underestimate than overestimate consumption at a population-level. This is in line with two previous studies carried out examining the validity and reliability of alcohol retail sales data.

Read the reports:

Estimating population alcohol consumption in Scotland: the impact of using different sources of alcohol retail sales data.

Estimating population alcohol consumption in Scotland: assessing the validity and reliability of alcohol retail sales data.

Last updated: 29 June 2022