Straight-sided beer and cider glasses to reduce alcohol sales for on-site consumption: A randomised crossover trial in bars

Laura A Brocklebank, Anna K M Blackwell, Katie De-loyde, Richard W Morris, Olivia M Maynard, Angela S Attwood, Marcus R Munafo, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Background

Straight-sided glasses can slow the rate of lager consumption in a laboratory setting compared with curved glasses. Slower drinking rates may lower overall alcohol consumption. Glass shape is therefore a potential target for intervention. The aim of this randomised crossover trial was to estimate the impact of serving draught beer and cider in straight-sided glasses, compared with usual, predominantly curved glasses, on alcohol sales for on-site consumption in bars.

Methods

Twenty-four bars in England completed two intervention periods (A) and two control periods (B) in a randomised order: 1) BABA; 2) BAAB; 3) ABBA; or 4) ABAB. Each period lasted two weeks and involved serving draught beer and cider in either straight-sided glasses (A) or the venue’s usual glasses (≥75% curved; B). The primary outcome was the mean volume (in litres) of draught beer and cider sold weekly, compared between A and B periods using a paired-samples t-test on aggregate data. A regression model adjusted for season, order, special events, and busyness.

Findings

Mean weekly volume sales of draught beer and cider was 690·9 litres (SD 491·3 litres) across A periods and 732·5 litres (SD 501·0 litres) across B periods. The adjusted mean difference (A minus B) was 8·9 litres per week (95% CI -45·5 to 63·3; p = 0·737).

Interpretation

This study provides no clear evidence that using straight-sided glasses, compared with usual, predominantly curved glasses, reduces the volume of draught beer and cider sold for on-site consumption in bars.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113911
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume278
Early online date18 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust [ref: 206853/Z/17/Z ]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. PCF is funded by the Wellcome Trust (ref: 206368/Z/17/Z) and by the Bernard Wolfe Health Neuroscience fund .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • choice architecture
  • nudging
  • glass shape
  • alcohol consumption

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