Molson Coors calls for cider duty review

The chief executive of Molson Coors has called for a review of cider duty following research that found strong cider available in supermarkets and off-licences for 10p a unit.

The study, conducted by the Core Cities Health Improvement Collaborative – made up of the primary care trusts from the eight largest cities outside London – also showed lager could be bought for 26p a pint.

Molson Coors head Mark Hunter said: “We believe in the need to build a culture of respect for alcohol using responsible marketing, education and responsible prices.

“The fact that alcohol is being sold below cost or at pocket money prices is a slur on our industry that must be urgently addressed.

“We believe passionately that the simple, affordable pleasure of sharing a beer with friends should be preserved but we are concerned by the role that excise duty plays in building respect for alcohol. We want to see irresponsible pricing penalised, but not all beer retail to be demonised.”

He added: “Cider is pinpointed in the report and we hope the findings ensures that government reviews cider duty. The current cider duty rates appear anomalous when compared to the rates that affects beer and so, we are calling for the government to align beer and cider duty rates to help to promote a sensible drinking culture.”