Alcohol products auditCommercial Consulting
Zenith Global carried out an audit for the responsibility body for alcoholic drinks producers in the UK. The responsibility body’s eight-member companies account for more than half of the UK alcohol market. The audit was conducted against the body’s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic drinks on sale in the UK. The Code seeks to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible way and only to those 18 and over. If a product or promotion is found in breach of the Code, the producer is asked to take appropriate remedial action. In the event of a breach concerning the naming and/or packaging of a product, the responsibility body may issue a Retailer Alert Bulletin (RAB) asking licensed retailers not to re-stock the offending product until the company has taken appropriate remedial action. The Code receives widespread support across the industry. There are more than 140 companies that are signatories to the Code. These signatories, which include alcohol producers and most major retailers, as well as trade associations represent the overwhelming majority of the drinks industry.
- Zenith Global’s proposal outlined the detailed methodology for the collection of a random sample of 500 alcoholic products on sale in the UK and to audit them against the Code.
- The aim of the audit was to test the alcohol industry’s compliance with the new 6th edition of the Code.
- The product sample was statistically representative of the UK market in terms of product sector and category.
- Zenith Global used off-trade market data for the full financial year. The data file provided the volume (in thousands of HL) of alcohol purchased in the UK for the year by product sector, category, UK region and distribution channel.
- The data was used to determine the volume share (%) of each sector and category within each UK region and distribution channel.
- Through data analysis, Zenith Global assigned a weighted random number to each category based on its volume share.
- This provided the specific category and location (region and channel) of where each sample product should be obtained from.
- A shopping plan was then activated to obtain all 500 product samples required.
- A team of 4 auditors followed a rigorous assessment process with each product in turn to assess its compliance with the 6th edition of the Code. The process involved a quality assurance stage where each potentially non-compliant product was checked by a second auditor and then by the audit team as a whole.
- This procedure led to a robust assessment of all 500 samples, clearly highlighting which products were in potential breach of one or more sections of the code.
The responsibility body received a detailed actionable document listing the products which were independently assessed as being in potential breach, allowing them to approach each producer for either the product to be amended in conjunction with the body’s Advisory Service or investigated by an Independent Complaints Panel.