FROSTY Jack’s drinkers have been swapping their favourite tipple for prosecco after minimum pricing, a new study has found.

A new study, released today shows that retailers reported sales of the strongest white ciders, sold cheaply, had suffered the most.

It led to all of the outlets in the study removing three litre plastic bottles of white cider from sale.

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High street supermarket Iceland, which sold Frosty Jack’s at £3 before minimum pricing, no longer stocks that specific product.

Three litre Bottles of Frosty Jack’s increased in price, from as low as £3 to more than £11, after minimum pricing came into force in Scotland.

The report into the impact on the drinks industry for the Scottish Government found that drinkers of cheap white cider switched to other products.

It found some retailers said customers switched to lower strength cider in cans, like Strongbow. Others noted a change to lower strength fruity wines and prosecco.

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A switch from large bottles of cider to smaller 20cl bottles of vodka was also happening.

Other retailers said that sales of fortified wines, such as Buckfast, has increased.

The study states: “A number of convenience retailers reported that some consumers of strong ciders were spending the same amount of money on alcoholic drinks on a weekly basis but had reduced the volume they consumed in order to account for the price increase.”

The study found that minimum pricing had impacted on choices made by drinkers in general.

It said many had switched to lower alcohol products and to smaller cans and smaller multi-packs.

Sales of 12 and 16 pack beers and lagers had dropped coinciding with more sales of four packs.

The study found that sales of alcohol in Scotland at one national supermarket chain had decreased while in England it has increased.

It reported a fall of between 6% to 9% following minimum pricing, compared with an increase in the range of 0% to 3% at its English stores. The number of products sold had fallen by up to 3% at its Scottish stores but had risen by a range of 3% to 6% in its English stores.

One litre bottles of spirits in Scotland has fallen in price while at the same time increasing in England.

Joe FitzPatrick Public Health Minister said: “Minimum Unit Pricing is a world first, which we introduced to tackle unacceptable levels of harm caused by alcohol consumption. Early sales data are promising – data for 2018 shows a 3% drop in sales of pure alcohol per adult – and I look forward to seeing a reduction in health harms in the future.

“It is also important to look at the impacts of MUP on the alcohol industry in Scotland, as required by the 2012 Act.

“This initial assessment includes interviews with industry representatives but it’s too early in the process to say anything definitive.”

Neil Craig, Head of Evaluation at NHS Health Scotland, said: “We are leading a robust and comprehensive evaluation of Minimum Unit Pricing, which will provide a full understanding of what difference the legislation is making and to whom. “That of course includes the impact MUP could make to levels of alcohol-related health and social harm, but also requires us to assess the effect on the alcoholic drinks industry in Scotland. We welcome the involvement of a cross-section of retailers and producers in this initial stage of the economic impact study.”