Consumers in Glasgow are being encouraged to swap their usual tipple for a lower alcohol version as part of a pilot campaign launched this week by the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership (SGAIP). The campaign is being supported by the Scottish Wholesale Association and its members, JW Filshill and CJ Lang.

Retailers are display point-of-sale material in around 150 outlets asking shoppers to "spot the difference" between higher and lower strength wine and beer, with the goal to reduce an individual's unit intake and the risk of long and short-term health harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

The SWA is a member of the SGAIP along with: Scottish Grocers' Federation; Scottish Licensed Trade Association; Scottish Government; Heineken UK; Tennent Caledonian Breweries UK; Pernod Ricard; Diageo GB; Molson Coors Brewing; Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands; Whyte & Mackay; SABMiller; Scotch Whisky Association; The Wine and Spirit Trade Association; Scottish Retail Consortium; Scottish Beer & Pub Association; and the National Association of Cider Makers.

SGAIP aims to deliver a long-term collaborative approach to fostering a culture where alcohol is consumed responsibly and in moderation. Its main objective is to deliver joint initiatives to tackle alcohol related harm and promote responsible drinking.

The pilot campaign will be supported by the on and off-trade stocking and promoting lower alcohol by volume (ABV) products on shelf and at point of consumption. Campaign material is being displayed across partner stores including JW Filshill (KeyStore), CJ Lang (Spar), Scotmid, Waitrose and Asda and includes shelf barkers and wobblers.

On-trade partners including Punch, Star Pubs & Bars (Heineken), Marston's and Mitchells & Butlers have been equipped with posters, beer mats, bar runners and tent cards to promote the activity for four weeks.

Evaluation of the initiative will test campaign messages in these environments and pre and post-sales data will be assessed to understand what impact the campaign has on behaviour. The evaluation will take place in a small sample of supermarkets and convenience stores.

Brain Juicer, an independent research company, has been appointed to conduct in-store surveys and observations to see how people respond to the campaign message.

Paul Hegarty, stakeholder manager at Drinkaware and lead on the Campaigns Group for SGAIP, says: "We are excited to be working with the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership and retailers to launch this pilot campaign.

"We want to evaluate how we can best encourage consumers to swap their usual drink for a lower alcohol version, as we continue to educate people about the health benefits of cutting down on units. Partnerships like this help Drinkaware evolve, so not only do we provide information and advice about alcohol to consumers, but we can also help people change their behaviour."

Ian McDonald, sales and marketing director, JW Filshill, says: "As a company with a robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda, we are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this excellent campaign to encourage consumers to choose lower alcohol versions for their usual drink.

"KeyStore retailers are extremely supportive and we are working closely with our suppliers to ensure that more beer and wine products with a lower ABV are available for customers to buy and enjoy responsibly.

"We have been involved in alcohol awareness campaigns in the past which have really struck a chord with consumers and been well supported by suppliers so we hope that the trade gets behind this one.

"No-one expects us to tell people that they can't or shouldn't drink alcohol but if convenience stores can play their part by offering their customers access to alcoholic drinks that have a lower ABV and promoting these products in-store, people can then make an informed choice and hopefully think about the health implications of alcohol."

Drinkaware provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Its public education programmes, expert information and resources help create awareness and effect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works alongside the medical profession, the alcohol industry and Government to achieve its goals.