Man with a van faces a ban if he continues alcohol scam

09 March, 2007

Q With the warm weather approaching I was wondering if I could sell cold beers to sunbathers in the local park from my delivery van? I don't think it's covered by my licence, but presumably I could apply for a variation that allowed mobile sales?

A Well, as Gnarls Barkley would say: I think you're crazy. The

licensing committee's response to such a request may be laughter at best

- at worst it may reconsider

your licence . Alcohol must be sold from a fixed premises which must be licensed. Your delivery van is only used - we must presume - to transport alcohol which has already been purchased.

Recently Trading Standards officers in Merthyr Tydfill prosecuted an ice cream man who, as a nifty little sideline, had started selling cans of lager outside a school.

He

got a £60 fine , more than £500 in costs

and a criminal anti-social behaviour order. If

caught with alcohol in his vehicle again he could be jailed for up to five years.

Q We hear a lot about low or no-

alcohol beer, but not so much about alcohol-free wine. Is this a category to watch in these health-conscious times?

A Not unless you think an 11 per cent annual decline is a good sales performance. The market is worth £14 million, according to

Nielsen figures for 2006, and 98 per cent of the sales happen in the off-trade. It's one of the smallest niches in the drinks market (only Montilla and British wine register smaller sales) and is ­failing to capitalise on health trends ­mainly because there are so many alternative drinks that taste better. There have been all sorts of claims made about the low or no-alcohol wines on the market, but until they start performing better in blind tastings the trade and ultimately the consumer are likely to remain unimpressed.

Q Does the world drink more red than white wine? And how important is rosé in the scheme of things?

A Red wine is

the most enjoyed style, accounting for a fraction over 50 per cent of global consumption. According to figures published by Vinexpo and the International Wine & Spirits Record, this

was a 7.5 per cent increase on 2001 and the growth should continue at almost the same rate until 2010.

White wine is seeing much slower growth and accounts for 40.6 per cent of world consumption.

Rosés are going great guns in the UK after years of being under-appreciated, and account for a little over 9 per cent of global wine sales.




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