Themes and studies of MUP evaluation

We are taking a theory-based approach to the evaluation of minimum unit pricing (MUP). There are four themes. Each theme will include several evaluation studies.

Our theory of change is currently available as a short presentation.

You can find information on each theme and the studies within it below.

This theme will assess whether MUP is complied with and any barriers or facilitators to compliance. We also hope to assess changes in the public’s attitude to MUP.

There are three studies contributing to this theme.

Compliance (Licensing)

This will assess compliance with MUP through the operational practices and experiences of local authority Licensing Standards Officers. It will also use national licensing statistics

Alcohol price distribution

This will assess the impact of MUP on the volume of alcohol sold in the Scottish off-trade at different prices. We will buy weekly data on this from Nielsen, a market research company. We will compare changes in Scotland to England and Wales, where MUP has not been introduced.

This study also contributes to theme 2 - alcohol market.

Public attitudes to MUP

This will assess the public’s attitudes to MUP before and after implementation. We hope to commission ScotCen to repeat a set of questions assessing the public’s attitudes to MUP in a survey. We will use data collected from their previous surveys as a comparison.

This theme will assess how the alcohol industry responds to MUP and the economic impact of it on the alcohol industry in Scotland.

There are five studies contributing to this theme.

Economic impact

This will assess the economic impact of MUP across the alcohol industry in Scotland by analysing routine data, case studies and interviews with key stakeholders. We are currently commissioning this study.

Small convenience stores

The University of Stirling have been commissioned to assess the impact of MUP on the price, product range and promotion of alcohol sold in small convenience stores in Scotland. This will include exploring small retailer’s experience of MUP and its impact on their store.

Product range and prices

This will assess how the price, strength and range of alcohol products sold changes as a result of MUP. We will buy weekly data on products, price and volume sold through retailers from Nielsen, a market research company. We will also buy data on the products (including alcohol strength), price and volume sold through wholesalers. We will compare changes in Scotland with England and Wales, where MUP has not be introduced.

Alcohol price distribution

This will assess the impact of MUP on the volume of alcohol sold in the Scottish off-trade at different prices. We will buy weekly data on this from Nielsen, a market research company. We will compare changes in Scotland with England and Wales, where MUP has not been introduced.

This study also contributes to theme 1 – implementation and compliance.

Sales based consumption

This will assess the impact of MUP on the volume of pure alcohol sold in the off-trade in Scotland, overall and by drink type. We will compare changes in Scotland with England and Wales, where MUP has not been introduced. Alcohol sales data will be bought from both Nielsen and CGA, market research companies.

This study also contributes to theme 3 - alcohol consumption.

This theme will assess the impact of MUP on alcohol consumption in Scotland, including where people get their alcohol from. It will also assess if changes in consumption differ by age, sex, deprivation and pattern of drinking.

There are five studies contributing to this theme.

Sales-based consumption

This will assess the impact of MUP on the volume of pure alcohol sold in the off-trade in Scotland, overall and by drink type. We will compare changes in Scotland with England and Wales, where MUP has not been introduced. Alcohol sales data will be bought from both Nielsen and CGA, market research companies.

This study also contributes to theme 2 - alcohol market.

Self-reported consumption

This will assess the impact of MUP on how much alcohol people report they consume. This information is collected in the Scottish Health Survey. We will describe changes in the levels and patterns of alcohol adults in Scotland report they consume before and after MUP.

Drinking at harmful levels

The University of Sheffield and Figure 8 Consulting have been commissioned to assess the impact of MUP on those drinking at harmful levels, considering the impact on consumption and drinking behaviour, substitution with other substances, health, crime and children and families. They will gather information from people who drink at harmful levels and those working in alcohol treatment services.

This study also contributes to theme 4 - alcohol harm.

Drinking patterns

The University of Sheffield and Figure 8 Consulting have been commissioned to assess the impact of MUP on patterns of drinking. This study will use the Kantar World panel Alcovision survey to assess how the amount and pattern of alcohol consumed by moderate, hazardous and harmful drinkers changes as a result of MUP. It will also compare the changes in Scotland to those in England.

Children and young people: own response to MUP

This will assess the impact of MUP on children and young people's own drinking and related behaviour. We will commission a qualitative study to gather information from under 18's and those working with children and young people. We will also assess survey data collected through the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey and the Scottish Health Survey.

This study also contributes to theme 4 - alcohol harms.

This theme will assess changes in a number of alcohol harms as a result of MUP. This includes alcohol-related hospital admissions and deaths; harms to children and young people; alcohol-related crime and disorder; and unintended harms such as increased consumption of other harmful substances.

There are five studies contributing to this theme.

Hospital admissions and deaths

This will assess the impact of MUP on hospital admissions and deaths due to alcohol, by studying changes over time.

Crime, safety and public nuisance

This will assess the impact of MUP on crime, safety and public nuisance in Scotland. It will analyse information that is routinely collected and information collected through the harmful drinkers (as victims and perpetrators), small retailers and children and young people studies.

Drinking at harmful levels

The University of Sheffield and Figure 8 Consulting have been commissioned to assess the impact of MUP on those drinking at harmful levels, considering the impact on consumption and drinking behaviour, substitution with other substances, health, crime and children and families. They will gather information from people who drink at harmful levels and those working in alcohol treatment services.

This study also contributes to theme 3 - alcohol consumption.

Children and young people: own response to MUP

This will assess the impact of MUP on children and young people’s own drinking and related behaviour. We will commission a qualitative study to gather information from under 18’s and those working with children and young people. We will also assess survey data collected through the Scottish Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey and the Scottish Health Survey.

This study also contributes to theme 3 - alcohol consumption.

Children and young people: harm from others drinking

This will assess the impact of MUP on children and young people affected by harmful parental or carer alcohol consumption. It will use qualitative data from practitioners and other routinely collected data.

Contact us

You can contact us to find out more about the evaluation plan and the studies within it.