The UK has seen the rise of mass luxury in recent years, with brands aiming to appeal to consumers through premium, yet still affordable items, in order to tap into the treating trend.  

One of the big winners to arise from this trend has been Prosecco, which has seen explosive growth and is now the go-to-tipple for a large proportion of consumers. This is particularly relevant to women, who drank 62% of the 57 million litres of sparkling wine consumed by 18-54 year olds in the UK in 2016. In a competitive on-trade environment innovation must be seized to cut through the noise of competitors, and the latest innovation to sweep the UK has been ‘bottomless-prosecco’.

Playing off the well-known bottomless-coke, which is well established in many casual dining chains, bottomless-Prosecco actively targets the mid-day occasion as a footfall driver, with many influential outlets in the UK such as Neighborhood and London’s Mayfair Park Lane Hotel. Its uses extend well beyond casual dining however, and it is also increasingly being used in beauty outlets as part of a glamour package in order to further target women.

These ‘blowdry and bottomless-prosecco’ deals are undoubtedly glamorous, but campaigners have raised serious concerns about the dangers they present.

The director of alcohol charity Balance, Colin Shevills, has claimed: "These types of unlimited prosecco promotions are actively encouraging binge drinking where people consume high amounts of alcohol over a short period of time. Their growing social acceptability is concerning…

“What these bottomless promotions aren’t mentioning are the very real harms of drinking, which is particularly worrying when we’re seeing increases in alcohol consumption amongst the female population."

With the World Health Organization reporting that 3.3 million deaths are directly caused each year by binge drinking, it is clear why health campaigners are concerned.

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However, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has responded by claiming that, although binge drinking in the on-trade is certainly an issue, campaigners would be better served turning their attention to the off-trade.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls states: “The move towards prosecco, which is lower in strength than many wines and sold only in 125ml servings, has helped cut consumption of 1bn units of alcohol… Any campaigners who are worried about drinks promotions would be better advised to look towards the off-trade where alcohol can be bought at a much lower cost for unsupervised consumption.”