Impact on sales of adding a smaller serving size of beer and cider in licensed premises: an A-B-A reversal design.
BACKGROUND: Smaller serving sizes of alcoholic drinks could reduce alcohol consumption across populations thereby lowering the risk of many diseases. The effect of modifying the available range of serving sizes of beer and cider in a real-world setting has yet to be studied. The current study assessed the impact on beer and cider sales of adding a serving size of draught beer and cider (2/3 pint) that was between the current smallest (1/2 pint) and largest (1 pint) standard serving sizes. METHODS: Twenty-two licensed premises in England consented to taking part in the study. The study used an ABA reversal design, set over three 4-weekly periods, with A representing the non-intervention periods, during which standard serving sizes were served and B the intervention period when a 2/3 pint serving size of draught beer and cider was added to the existing range, along with smaller 1/2 pint and larger 1 pint serving sizes. The primary outcome was the daily volume of beer and cider sold, extracted from sales data. RESULTS: Fourteen premises started the study, of which thirteen completed it. Twelve of those did so per protocol and were included in the primary analysis. After adjusting for pre-specified covariates, the intervention did not have a significant effect on the volume of beer and cider sold per day (3.14 ml; 95%CIs -2.29 to 8.58; p = 0.257). CONCLUSIONS: In licensed premises, there was no evidence that adding a smaller serving size for draught beer and cider (2/3 pint) when the smallest (1/2 pint) and largest (1 pint) sizes were still available, affected the volume of beer and cider sold. Studies are warranted to assess the impact of removing the largest serving size. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN: https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN33169631 (08/09/2021), OSF: https://osf.io/xkgdb/ (08/09/2021).