We recognise some products we sell can be unhealthy if misused or consumed often. We take the responsibility of selling these seriously, and remain focused on leading in the highest standards of retailing for alcohol and tobacco.

In 2021, Woolworths Group and Endeavour Group demerged, with our relationship moving from ownership to partnership, diluting our association with gambling. Woolworths Group will continue to sell alcohol in our New Zealand operations through Countdown and in Australia through our partnership with BWS and Dan Murphy’s.


Responsible retailing of alcohol


We aim to be an industry leader in the responsible retailing of alcohol products. We have a range of policies complying with legislative requirements, including verifying age in-store and online. We are also committed to providing clear information to customers through on-pack labels, detailing calorie content, portion guidelines, and health warnings.

To encourage responsible drinking, we stock low and zero alcohol beverages, which are seeing strong market growth in Australia and New Zealand. Countdown aims to be a market leader in this space, providing customers 91 zero alcohol options, a 10% year-on-year increase, and promoting zero alcohol options more prominently in store.


Training our team


In F22, we rolled out Responsible Service of Alcohol training to 4,238 of our Countdown team who perform roles where they are required to approve alcohol sales. 


Responsible retailing of tobacco


Woolworths Group supports initiatives aimed at reducing the take-up rate of smoking and the sale of tobacco products is strictly regulated across all retail outlets. We recognise we have an important role to play and from F23 will expand our responsible retailing goal to include tobacco.

We are tracking our historical tobacco volume and consumer purchase behaviour and have seen a decline of 33% based on units sold since F19.

We have worked with governments across Australia and New Zealand to implement tobacco control and preventative health policies. This includes displaying restrictions across our stores with the aim of decreasing impulse purchases, take-up by young smokers and to raise awareness of quit smoking programs

For our progress against this goal, see our 2022 Sustainability Report. For more information on our metrics, see our 2022 Sustainability Report Appendix.