The Danish Alcohol Partnership

Problem & Context

In early 2014, the Danish Ministry of Health presented a national prevention plan for health, citing research that indicated that 47% of all Danes had been drunk before they were 15 years old, and that 11% of Danes aged over 16 years regularly exceeded responsible consumption guidelines. The ministry developed seven targets to be achieved by 2020: target five was “to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and to postpone the alcohol debut for adolescents” [1].

The Alkohol Partnerskabet (Danish Alcohol Partnership) was established to help achieve these goals, with a wide range of stakeholders from across society. The then-Minister of Health Sophie Løhde supported the private sector’s involvement, saying in January 2016 that for the industry “to take responsibility, we must also give them responsibility.” [2]

The Process

The Danish Alcohol Partnership designed a strategy to support the message that underage drinking is unacceptable, including all actors in the private sector – from producers to retailers and restaurants – and engaging young people.

The Ministry of Health funded the partnership between fall 2014 and the end of 2017, contributing 50% of the financial resources needed for the project, along with statistics and surveys that helped measure the problem. The ministry was directly involved throughout, continually monitoring and approving the program’s projects.

The partnership created two campaigns: Party Prince, which supported legal purchase age (LPA) enforcement, and then Fastland, which created a frame of reference for discussions about underage drinking online and at high schools.

The first phase of the Party Prince campaign, in 2015, directly targeted adolescents through social media to promote the LPA’s importance; it always used a positive tone to promote responsible alcohol culture without ever scolding, blame, or lecturing, which could have alienated this young audience.In 2016, the second phase of the Party Prince campaign supported LPA enforcement in the retail sector across Denmark by raising employees’ awareness of responsible retailing practices and supplying point-of-sale visuals; the partnership also promoted cultural acceptance of age-verification mechanisms and encouraged young people to use the “Smart ID” phone app to prove their age.

The Fastland nightlife safety campaign was developed in 2016 and launched in 2017. Its first phase targeted adolescents through a web series and by using social media influencers. The second phase of this campaign included facilitated discussions where high-school students considered the impact of alcohol on their lives. The intention was to encourage students to talk about their experiences, and give them ownership of the conversation, rather than lecturing them.

The partnership also held a conference in the Danish Parliament in 2016, discussing effective strategies to reduce underage drinking, and in the European Parliament in Brussels in 2017.

The Impact

Program evaluation indicates that attitudes towards age verification have changed over the course of the partnership; before its campaign, 48.4% of customers responded positively when asked for ID, and this rose to 74.3% of customers after the campaign. And, 25% of retail staff felt it was easier to ask for ID after the campaign.

Following the campaign, we have seen a strong increase in cancelled transactions due to higher awareness of staff and technical improvements.” – Netto Regional Stores Manager.


The then-Minister of Health, Ellen Trane Nørby, wrote to the partnership in February 2019:  “I am pleased to see that you as an industry take responsibility for creating a more responsible alcohol culture among Danish young people...I would like to acknowledge the work you have done in the project and to announce the continued support of the Ministry of Health to the Alcohol Partnership.

Ongoing tredns in Drinking

Data from the Danish National Health Survey indicates that the proportion of Danes that exceed the national consumption guidelines has fallen from 10.6% in 2010 to 6.9% in 2017; among young men aged between 16 and 24 years, this proportion fell from 22% in 2010 to 11.5% in 2017 [3].



[1] Ministry of Health. (2014). Sundere liv for alle: Nationale mål for danskernes sundhed de næste 10 år [Healthier life for everyone: National goals for the Danes' health for the next 10 years].
[2] Danish Brewers' Association. (April 2017). News from the Danish Brewers' Association.
[3] Danish Health Authority. Danes' health: Figures from the national health profile 2010, 2013, and 2017 

Public Sector:
  •  Danish Ministry of Health


Private Sector:
  •  Danish Brewers Association
  •  The Wine and Spirits Organization (VSOD)
  •  The Federation of Retail Grocers in Denmark (DSK)
  •  The Danish Chamber of Commerce
  •  Trade Association for the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism industry (HORESTA)
  •  Danish Restaurants and Cafes Association (DRC)