Being responsible about Alcohol

UK Position Statement. Last updated: 12/05/2017


Our approach

Consumed responsibly, alcohol can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle and many of our customers buy it as part of the weekly family shop. However, alcohol misuse is harmful and its impact on health and society is a real problem. We know it is of concern to our customers and we take our responsibility as a retailer of alcohol seriously. Acting in conjunction with government, industry, health bodies and NGOs, we are committed to playing our part in tackling alcohol misuse and the sale of alcohol to minors.

Providing information

We are committed to providing clear information to customers. All our labels on own brand alcoholic products have on-pack nutritional information and include unit and calorie content, NHS guidelines, and a warning about drinking when pregnant.

We support colleagues and customers through providing information on responsible drinking in-store, online and through Tesco magazines. Tesco is the lead retail partner of Drinkaware and work with them to highlight alcohol awareness and responsible drinking guidance. We provide a link to 'mydrinkaware' on our Wine Club website so our customers can access guidance, and use their logo in our magazines and on signage in store.

Unit Reduction

As part of our commitment to responsible drinking we have committed to increasing our range of low and mid strength beers, growing our offer of lower alcohol wines and reduced the ABV (alcohol by volume) of beer and cider where possible. Where our customers express concerns about products, and where there is clear evidence that they are consumed harmfully, we remove them from sale. We do not sell high strength white ciders for example.

Preventing under-age sales

We clearly communicate to our customers that alcohol is a product for adults. We have strong systems in place to ensure we do not sell to underage customers, including our ‘Challenge 25’ policy to help staff know when to ask for ID and refuse a sale where appropriate. We also use till prompts to alert staff to check for ID on alcoholic and low alcoholic and alcohol free products. Our colleagues are trained to understand their responsibilities and this training is reviewed regularly. We also use mystery shoppers to test whether our cashiers are correctly challenging customers to prove their age.


While we recognise our responsibility as a retailer to encourage responsible drinking, we cannot do this alone and so we engage in a number of industry-wide initiatives. This includes abiding by the Portman code, participating in the Campaign for Smarter Drinking, chairing the WSTA’s Retail Alcohol Standards Group, and working with local communities through Community Action Partnerships (CAPs) and our Good Neighbour programme.  

Working with communities

We understand the need to be responsible retailers in the communities we operate in and play an active role in tackling problem underage drinking in local communities. We work with local authorities and police forces to address issues of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour in and around our stores. Through CAPs we work closely with local organisations and public bodies to play a key role in reducing alcohol sales to minors, reducing the purchase of alcohol for minors, and reducing alcohol-related anti-social behaviour.

Minimum pricing

We are committed to engaging constructively in discussions with government on ways we can help tackle alcohol misuse, including minimum pricing. We do not sell alcohol below cost.

For more information contact our corporate responsibility team -