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Source: University of Auckland

Online retailers are doing a “woeful” job of alerting consumers to alcohol health information and warnings, according to the results of a University of Auckland-led study.

The study examined the presence, type and location of mandatory and voluntary health information and warnings consumers are exposed to when shopping online for alcohol in the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand.

A total of 1407 randomly sampled alcoholic beverages (705 in Aotearoa and 702 in the UK) from 14 online alcohol retailers (seven per country) were reviewed.

“The study identified woeful inadequacies regarding the viewing of mandatory alcohol health information within an online retail setting, as well as a near absence of any voluntary health warnings on alcoholic beverages,” says Business School Associate Professor Bodo Lang, one of the study authors.

“While consumers in both the UK and Aotearoa do not have sufficient opportunity to be exposed to health information and warnings, New Zealand consumers are particularly at risk because of low levels of information provision at the online point of sale.”