Draught beer prices go up but cider is frozen
By Dave Hunter
TENNENT Caledonian is to raise the wholesale prices of its draught beers by 2.2% from the beginning of next month.
The price rise, revealed a month after wholesale price increases from rival brewers Heineken, Molson Coors and Carlsberg UK, will add £9.99 to the price of a barrel of Tennent’s Lager (equivalent to around 3.4p a pint) and £8.27 to a barrel of Caledonia Best (around 2.8p per pint).
The increase marks the first time since 2012 the brewer has raised its prices (excluding duty increases).
The company has also stated that the increase will be the only change to the price of its draught portfolio in the free-trade this year, with the exception of any duty increases announced by chancellor George Osborne.
“We’re very conscious that price rises are not good news,” said Tennent Caledonian managing director, John Gilligan.
“As a result, we have looked to minimise the level of increase, despite rising costs of our raw materials and utilities.”
Meanwhile, the company will freeze prices across its draught cider portfolio, which includes Magners Golden Draught, Blackthorn, Gaymers and Addlestones, for a second year.
Gilligan said the decision to introduce a “relatively modest” rise for its beers, while freezing the price of its draught cider products, “shows our strong understanding of the free on-trade in Scotland and what our customers need for 2014”.
“As the brewer of some of Scotland’s most successful and best-loved brands, we know that anything we can do to help licensees in the current economic climate is warmly welcomed,” he said.
Early last month Carlsberg UK announced price rises of between 3.8% and 4.2% across its portfolio – adding around 6p to a pint of Carlsberg lager.
Molson Coors followed in mid-January, increasing the prices of its own draught products by 5p a pint, and Heineken announced its wholesale prices would increase between 3% and 3.5% across its portfolio, equivalent to an increase of around 4p a pint.