“The male population will decrease”: expert on vodka for 100 rubles

“The male population will decrease”: expert on vodka for 100 rubles


In Russia they proposed making vodka “for the poor” at 100 rubles per half liter. Director of the Center for Research of Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets “CIFRRA” Vadim Drobiz said that in order to reduce illegal alcohol on the market, it is necessary to provide the population with “white” alcohol at affordable prices. Will the measure help in the fight against counterfeit products? Will it turn out that alcohol consumption will increase sharply if the state provides citizens with “social vodka”? Experts told MK about this.

“In Russian stores, the cheapest bottle of vodka costs 300 rubles, while on the illegal market it costs between 100 and 150 rubles. Make vodka for the poor (social vodka, mass vodka, call it what you want) for 100 rubles – and the problem with the sale of illegal alcohol will be solved,” Drobiz noted.

Let us remind you that the minimum recommended price (MRP) for vodka in 2024, according to the decree of the Ministry of Finance, will increase from 261 to 281 rubles. per bottle of 0.5 liters. Note that these are the minimum prices below which legal alcohol cannot be officially sold in principle.

Meanwhile, vodka is an excisable product that brings a significant share of budget revenues. The cost of 0.5 liters of the drink itself consists of raw materials and processing (alcohol and additives), packaging, production and delivery costs (personnel costs, housing and communal services tariffs, labeling, labeling, transport) and excise tax.

It is possible to reduce the price of vodka by three times from the existing cost level if it is the simplest product, its taste will be low. At the same time, there will be an alternative to counterfeit at a price, and the quality of this drink will be controlled by the state, and producers will be able to take away market share from illegal producers who actually sell diluted alcohol under the guise of vodka, says managing partner of the communication agency B&C Agency Ivan Samoilenko.

“In Russia, it has been proposed more than once to create vodka with the lowest price, but this requires a number of decisions from the state, since it will be allowed to produce a low-quality product. On the other hand, there is an example from the USA: they produce whiskey there for $2 a bottle, this is “whisky for the poor.” This category buys the drink, and the state receives income from it in the form of taxes. This solves the problem of quality control of consumed alcohol. This is not an ideal product, but also not an underground counterfeit that can poison you,” the expert notes.

As for the population itself, according to Samoilenko, people drink not because of the availability of alcohol or its price, but for reasons of financial, psychological, etc. instability.

“In Russia in recent years, a wide layer of citizens has formed who follow a healthy lifestyle. There is a fashion for this style. At the same time, the share of those who consume alcohol (a lot or occasionally) does not change much. But preferences have changed: those who can, choose expensive drinks, those who cannot, consume counterfeit goods. If cheap vodka appears, people will buy it rather than a dangerous counterfeit,” he believes.

Meanwhile, according to the Chairman of the Board of the Council for Public Health and Demographic Problems Daria Khalturina, the implementation of the proposal for folk vodka “for the poor” will inevitably lead to an increase in its consumption among the population and, as a consequence, to an increase in mortality, crime, the number of accidents, and road accidents , murders, suicides, violence, orphanhood and divorce.

“The consumption of vodka will increase especially strongly among young people, pensioners, as well as in regions with lower incomes,” believes MK’s interlocutor.

Chairman of the Board of the International Confederation of Consumer Societies (ConFOP) Dmitry Yanin agrees with the expert’s position.

“Alcohol consumption is already growing in Russia. If the state decides to make vodka free, since one hundred rubles per bottle is nothing, then its consumption and mortality from alcohol will increase several times, the expert is convinced. – The technology of reducing vodka prices has been used several times in the history of modern Russia. This happened in the early 1990s, when the availability of vodka and alcohol sharply increased, and in 2014. Such changes have always led to increased consumption and increased mortality. This proposal can be seen as aimed at reducing the male population.”


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