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Carlsberg takes action on responsibility pledge

February 2015

The potent lager Special Brew, created by the Danish Carlsberg company in 1950 in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, may be watered down to comply with guidelines agreed by the industry and the UK government to combat drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.

Carlsberg is one of two suppliers that have endorsed the “responsibility deal” pledge to stop selling any carbonated product containing more than four units of alcohol in a single-serve can.

Special Brew, which is relatively cheap but has a 9% alcohol-by-volume level and is known as gut rot and tramp juice, is available in 550ml and 450ml cans and 250ml bottles.

The bigger cans breach the agreement. Carlsberg is therefore considering weakening the lager or changing the can size.

The company is making similar changes to its other 9% lager Skol Super, sold only in 500ml cans, as this breaches the agreement too.

Carlsberg director Bruce Ray says: “We will be reviewing our portfolio and withdrawing any single-serve cans containing over four units of alcohol from sale during 2015.”

Jeremy Hunt, the UK health secretary, believes Carlsberg’s changes will help to take a billion units of alcohol out of the market.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian-Brazilian multinational, the first supplier to endorse the deal, has already reduced the size of its cans of Tennent’s Super Lager, another 9% brew, from 500ml to 450ml. 




UK & NI Ireland | CSR

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