I know I know… I should be blogging about Nanny State. But I need to try some first, and I’m a bit busy.
Anyway, I was just very briefly revisiting Tokyo* because I’m giving it a mention in a big piece I’m writing about beer marketing for a Sunday newspaper magazine (yep, you read that right – one of the biggest papers in the UK has actually commissioned an article on beer).
Anyway, for this, I wanted to do an accurate comparison of pence per unit of Tokyo versus other stuff. I’ve seen Brew Dog and others do comparisons of how much booze you can get for the same £9.99 price tag as a bottle of Tokyo, but I don’t think anyone has worked out the precise unit comparison I may be wrong – apologies if you have and I missed it).
Anyway, I found an alcoholic unit calculator
, looked at some offers on supermarket websites, and got a bit more absorbed than I needed to for the feature I’m writing. So I know Tokyo* is old news and has been blogged to death, but I thought I’d share it here – if you live in the constituency of one of those Scottish MSPs who signed the motion against it, please feel free to copy this to them:
- One £330 ml Tokyo* contains 6.1 units – at £9.99, that’s 0.61 units of alcohol per £1
- Blue WKD is in Asda – three four packs for a tenner. Even with the alcohol level having been recently lowered to 4.5%, that’s 1.4 units per £1
- The standard price in Tesco for 24 x 284ml bottles of Stella is £10. At 5%, that works out at 2.39 units per £1
- Promotional prices on Stella over the last 12 months have reached as low as the equivalent of 67p per pint. That’s 4.5 units per £1
- Tesco Currently has a really nice offer on a lovely-looking Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc – six bottles for £23.52. The wine is 12.5%, so that’s 2.84 units per £1.
- Morrisons is currently flogging Grants Whisky for £12.99 a litre. At 40%, that’s 3.07 units per £1
- Even Carling – hardly a drink that’s going to get you smashed in a hurry – gives you more bang for your buck – Sainsburys is flogging 15 x 440ml cans for £10 – at 4.1%, that’s 2.7 units per £1.
So let’s summarise that, in order of units per £1:
Tokyo* – 0.61
Asda Blue WKD – 1.4
Tesco Stella (normal price) – 2.39
Sainsburys Carling – 2.7
Tesco Kiwi Sauvignon – 2.84
Morrisons Grant’s whisky – 3.07
Morrisons/Asda/Sainsburys Stella (promo price) – 4.5
WKD gives you more than double the alcohol for your £1. A fairly common offer on white wine (I checked out several other deals that came in similar) gives you 4.5 times as much alcohol per £1 as you get from Tokyo*. When it’s on promotion – which it will be again for Christmas – Stella gives you 7.5 times as much alcohol per £1 as Tokyo does. If you want to get wankered cheaply, Tokyo* is rubbish – it’s worse than even Carling.
Of course, it’s not all about price. There are issues about it being one serving, and about general perceptions of how strong beer should be, versus wine or spirits, based on how we normally drink them.
But pricing comparison is crucial because the anti-alcohol lobby that is attacking Tokyo is the same anti-alcohol lobby that wants minimum pricing and duty increases on alcohol… because they think higher prices will deter binge drinking.
And with that feat of deduction, it would be nice if the neo-prohibitionists would finally disappear up their own arses.
Or at least admit the total and utter logical incoherence of their argument.