I think you all know that I used to drink like a fish. I take full personal responsibility for this, as I also took responsibility for my choice to stop boozing and sort myself out!
However, I have become acutely aware since becoming a non-drinker just how much of an alcohol-obsessed society we all live in, and in particular how the supermarkets use persuasive marketing techniques coupled with heavy discounts in order to make it so very tempting for their customers to pop another bottle into their trollies.
In the run up to Christmas I expect this blatant promotion of booze to intensify (as is the case every year) and along with the increase in alcohol consumption during the festive period, we can also expect to see a rise in drink-driving incidents, domestic violence (approximately 50% of reported domestic violence cases are linked to alcohol) and hospital admissions for a plethora of booze-related illnesses and accidents.
I believe that supermarkets have a responsibility to create a store environment that encourages and promotes healthier choices, not just with regards to the food they sell but also when it comes to alcohol. Between 1992 and 2011 there was a 38% increase in the amount of alcohol drunk at home, and most people buy their booze along with their weekly grocery shopping.
Soberistas would like to see all the major supermarkets routinely display a prominent selection of attractively-packaged, sophisticated and grown-up alcohol-free beverages, in an effort to help us all make healthier choices. The power of marketing is huge, and, just has been the case with alcoholic drinks being sold in a way which makes them appear exciting and attractive (with none of the health concerns especially highlighted), if AF drinks were marketed in a more appealing manner perhaps a few more customers may choose them over the boozy option, at least some of the time.
Rather than shunting the AF selection alongside the kids’ cola and lemonade, the Soberistas Choice Campaign will require (from those shops who sign up) supermarkets to counterbalance their alcohol displays with at least one attractive and easy-to-see display of non-alcoholic drinks, specifically featuring the types of beverages that appeal to AF adults (and not their children). We aren’t talking fizzy pop and orange squash, but beautifully-bottled and tasty treats like Ginger and Lemongrass Cordial and Elderflower Presse.
Soberistas will begin its campaign soon and as a starting point, we would love to present our argument to the supermarkets together with a collection of supporting statements – from you! So if you agree with what we are trying to achieve and would like to help us reach our goal of all the major UK supermarkets signing up, please leave a comment below stating why you love the idea of the Soberistas Choice Campaign.
Thank you (we would also be very grateful if you would consider sharing this blog post through Facebook and Twitter in order to build momentum for our campaign).