Booze cheap or cinema expensive?

Alcohol now so cheap 13 pints can be bought for price of cinema ticket

Looks like it’s cinema which is expensive:

Teenagers are able to buy more than 13 pints of cider for the price of a cinema ticket, according to a new report which says children are being put at risk by “pocket money prices.”

The study from the Alcohol Health Alliance says supermarkets are selling alcohol at prices that are attracting children and harmful drinkers, because of the absence of minimum prices.

The research found the cheapest alcohol being sold at 16 pence per unit – far below a 50 pence limit which was debated, before being shelved by the Coalition Government.

Consumers could buy two and a half bottles of the cheapest white cider – Frosty Jacks – containing more than 13 pints for the standard £8.24 paid for an off-peak cinema tickets, the study found.

And what’s this about teenagers? Got to be 18 to buy cider don’t you?

21 thoughts on “Booze cheap or cinema expensive?”

  1. I don’t care how good the film is- I’d prefer tipsy teenage girls (and with 13 pints to go round, there would be several of them) to the flicks.

  2. Comparing costs of drinking in the home vs going out to the cinema seems unfair. What’s the ratio for drinking in a pub vs going to cinema? 1:2?

  3. Cinema is one of a few things that’s beaten inflation (slightly). Which is a lot about the improved experience, bigger budget movies etc.

    And as anyone will tell you – kids are drinking less than they used to. The rise in drinking is mostly about middle-aged women.

  4. BiW,

    A friend of mine recently went back to university as a mature student in his mid thirties, having originally gone to uni with me in the late 90s. He was astounded by how little interest modern students have in going out every night and getting wasted, like we used to. I guess tuition fees are partly responsible for that.

  5. Miserable friendless people see others having fun and want to ban it.
    These are the same people who looked on jealously at the fun that was going on in the pubs they were never invited to so they killed the pub by banning smoking.
    Will they ever understand that they can ban all they like and they will still be miserable and friendless (the rest of us will just find something else to do without them)

  6. They might provide a boost to home brewing.
    Or perhaps to alternative recreational substances which are illegal but readily available.

  7. I was brought up to appreciate fine wine from an early age. In a restaurant when I was about 12, smirking waiter, “And would the lad like a glass?” My father: “I should think so – he chose it”. Sadly he didn’t provide the wherewithal to indulge my tastes.

  8. Raj makes a good point: the proper comparator (to the extent the comparison makes any sense at all) would be the cost to buy a DVD or download a movie to watch at home. And, given they are talking about the cheapest rotgut available, it would have to be the cheapest DVD on the marker. Which only drinking 13 pints of cider might make watchable…

  9. Cider gets a massive discount on alcohol duty.

    The only thing they need to do to get cider prices into line with everything else is to standardise alcohol duty so it doesn’t matter what fruit or grain the alcohol was made from.

    This is also the explanation for the “premium cider” (Magners, etc) movement – they can sell it for prices comparable to beer, but make much more profit.

  10. Some really good points in here: Richard Gadsden spot on with his assessment – I can recall when I was working in the drinks trade and Magners had the brainwave of putting ice into bog standard cider and charging an arm and a leg for it – the West London warehouse I worked at was shipping out a trunker a day (so nearly 1700 cases) and it wasn’t long prior to a welter of clones appearing on the market, most of which are still selling, albeit not in those vast quantities…

    Bobrocket and Machiavelli both right – another ‘charity’ which would last about a day if it was reliant on anything other than government largesse.

    And Raj also has it right – the comparion is with a trip to even a humdrum ‘local’ pub compared with the cinema – I cannot see 13 pints of anything alcoholic costing less than £40 in my high street local but of course disingenuous comparisons are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the ‘third sector’ – a plague on all their houses…..

  11. Tim Newman,

    “A friend of mine recently went back to university as a mature student in his mid thirties, having originally gone to uni with me in the late 90s. He was astounded by how little interest modern students have in going out every night and getting wasted, like we used to. I guess tuition fees are partly responsible for that.”

    There’s a huge cultural change that’s happened around drinking across all classes. Things like:-

    1) no drinking and driving
    2) workplaces have people travelling further, so everyone’s driving to work, so no drinking and driving, so rare after work drinking.
    3) men don’t do physical work so much, so don’t want to get fat, more likely to spend leisure time doing something physical
    4) online dating, so you don’t need some courage to go and talk to someone, just get to know them via Facebook or whatever
    5) hobbies. With all sorts of online networks, people are more likely to socialise with like minded people on hobbies. My wife hangs out with her knitting circle which is based around Facebook. I go to the gym. My neighbour gets together with his band. I can’t think of a single person in my street that goes off to the pub after work and does that.

    And this all has network effects. If half the middle-aged housewives are on cougarcentral.com, or at speed dating in the local village hall, you aren’t going to go to the pub. If your mates are all doing spin class, you’re going to go to spin class too. I follow the aquarobics class in the pool sometimes, and you can see it’s as much about girls hanging out as getting fit.

  12. If their concern is the amount of alcohol people are consuming, the simplest thing they could campaign for is alcohol duty being the same per unit in all drinks, instead of 91p/l for beer, 38p/l for cider and 117p/l for wine*, then let market forces take over.

    * It’s actually even more complicated than that.

  13. If they think booze in the UK is cheap, have they ever been abroad?

    In Italy wine is literally cheaper than water – and nobody is ever drunk.

    It’s a cultural thing you numpties.

    Oh, and what John Square said!

  14. BiW,

    Good points. I think the online dating one is a big one, and I’ve heard clubs are closing because of it: when I was a student, you had to go out and get pissed to meet anyone. Now I guess you just do it online.

  15. Bloke in Wiltshire

    Tim Newman,

    Never done it, but I worked with a guy who got divorced and hit online dating and got huge numbers of dates. It’s a very time and cost efficient way to ask a girl for a date.

  16. @ Tim Newman
    When I was an undergraduate I drank less per week than I had when I was living at home as a seventeen-year-old. Some of us actually spent some time studying and tried to live within our income [although those weren’t the only reasons – I tried to do some sport and the boy:girl ratio was 6:1] – I really cannot imagine how I could have got a decent degree if I had frequently gone out and got wasted.

  17. Its t’internet. Its changing the nature of socialising. Whereas it used to have to be face to face, now it can be done remotely instead. Hence the decline of many activities that were either expressly social (pubs and clubs) or tangentially social (sports clubs particularly).

    The internet has also allowed niche interests to coalesce – if you are into some non-mainstream activity (I know a lad who is big into Airsoft, its sort of paintballing but with more realistic weapons that fire very light plastic beads, I’d never heard of it until he explained it to me) all you need to do is google it, and if you’re lucky a local club/group will come up, if not you may have to travel, but you will find like minded people.

    Thus the ‘one size fits all’ social activities are dead – whatever your ‘thing’ is now, the internet will find people who are into it too. It just won’t be in your local pub.

  18. “And what’s this about teenagers? Got to be 18 to buy cider don’t you?”

    Without wanting to be too pedantic 18 year olds are, well, teenagers…

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