Retail Drinks has a demonstrated commitment to the responsible promotion, sale, and supply of alcohol beverage products.

To ensure the reputation of our sector, we promote and encourage standards of operation beyond the required standards of legal compliance, and have implemented a range of voluntary promotion, product, sale, and supply control, as well as safety and security initiatives adopted by members and the broader industry.

Our suite of Industry Responsibility initiatives includes our world-leading Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct, Choose to DrinkWise, ID25, Don’t Buy It For Them, the Product Ranging Guidelines, and Retail Drinks’ latest initiative Safe to Serve, launched in late 2023.

Retail Drinks’ role as a trusted advisor to both industry and government, and the voice for liquor retail saw our views being proactively sought by the NSW Government in a recent review of undesirable products, specifically products with soft drink branding.

Our submission to Liquor and Gaming NSW questioned the need for additional regulation, referring to both the processes of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, and our Product Ranging Guidelines, developed to assist liquor store operators to make product ranging choices that minimise potential misuse and subsequent harm related to excessive alcohol consumption.

Retail Drinks’ Product Ranging Guidelines, available via include a checklist of issues that liquor retailers may wish to consider when making product ranging decisions for their stores.

It includes the perception of a product targeting underage drinkers, product appeal and positioning, promotion style, alcohol strength and packaging format, as well as the name, packaging, graphics, and colour of products.

If the NSW Government ultimately determines that additional regulation be developed, we will seek to ensure that the definition adopted is not overly broad as to inadvertently capture products such as flavoured mineral water and lemon, lime and bitters, which do not pose any significant risk. We’ve also argued that a product’s taste profile should be excluded from consideration.

At the time of writing, our submission is still being considered alongside those provided by other stakeholders. We will continue to engage in this review process as it progresses and, where relevant, promote the principles of our Product Ranging Guidelines, as well as those from our other industry responsibility initiatives.

This article was written by Michael Waters, CEO, Retail Drinks Australia, and originally appeared in the May issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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