Buckfast owners announce controversial drink to be sold in cans

Buckfast tonic wine label close quality image
Buckfast: The tonic wine is to be sold in cans, say firm behind the controversial drink.© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

The firm behind Buckfast tonic wine has announced they will sell the drink in cans over summer.

They said the 25cl cans will attract consumers over the summer holidays and also help the Scottish Government’s anti-alcohol drive after they asked for pubs to sell smaller measures.

Buckfast owners J. Chandler and Co said 16,000 cans will initially be distributed and if successful they will introduce it permanently.

Stewart Wilson, sales manager for Buckfast’s distribution company J. Chandler, said: "The reason why we wanted to bring out a can is firstly we get asked quite regularly to bring out Buckfast in different shapes and sizes and it’s something we have looked at but never really considered at any great length.

"The public health minister for Scotland called on businesses to promote responsible consumption of alcohol and make smaller measures of wine available to consumers in January.

"That’s when we decided we should look at bringing Buckfast out in a smaller unit. Bringing out any new product can be deemed as a risk in terms of, ‘Will it affect business or detract sales from the bottle?’ So, at this stage, we’re just bringing it out as a limited edition.

"But we do believe it will be successful with the summer months coming in. Some of our customers will be going to barbecues and a chilled can of Buckfast would be the ideal product to take along."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Clearly, it is important that people have the ability to choose a smaller measure if they wish. However, time and time again, the research proves that affordability is the key factor in the misuse of alcohol and that the most effective way to tackle this is by setting a minimum unit price.

"This is about targeting the drink that is cheap relative to strength, which causes so much harm within communities, often in the most deprived areas of Scotland."