Objective: The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 came into force to promote the safe and responsible sale, supply, and consumption of alcohol in New Zealand. The Act was intended to minimise harm caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and reduce exposure to alcohol promotion. This study assessed supermarket adherence to sections 112–114 of the Act related to the display and advertisement of alcohol. It also assessed consumer exposure to alcohol marketing in these businesses.
Methods: This paper reports on an audit of nine supermarkets in a major New Zealand city.
Results: Supermarkets exhibited high average adherence with the Act (86% adherence across audit fields); despite this, exposure to alcohol displays, promotions and advertisements remained an issue regardless of supermarket geographic location, size or chain affiliation.
Conclusions: Supermarkets are an increasingly popular source of off-licence alcohol sales. Exposure to alcohol marketing in these businesses will likely influence consumer purchasing behaviour.
Implications for public health: As an important public health challenge, based on this study, it would appear that supermarkets mostly meet the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, but not the intent. Additional work is required to strengthen their response to the Act.