Several of the country’s biggest brewers have announced new year price increases across their product ranges.
AB InBev, owner of beer brands Stella Artois and Budweiser, has increased prices by an average of 1.5% across all its brands, blaming “continuing pressure in the beer industry”, while Carlsberg has increased the price of all its beers, lagers and ciders by 2.1%.
Diageo has announced that the price of a 50-litre keg of Guinness Draught will increase by 4%, while Heineken has upped prices by anaverage of 2%.
A Diageo spokeswoman said: “The price increase on Guinness has been kept to a minimum but is essential if we are to continue to invest strongly in our commitment to pubs. Diageo continues to be one of the largest financial supporters of pubs in the UK through our advertising and promotional activity helping to drive footfall as well as our quality programme. Our customer support centre and team of highly skilled technicians are on hand to service pubs up and down the country.”
And a spokeswoman for Heineken pointed out that the company’s price rise was less than last year’s increase of 4%.
“We fully appreciate that raising prices is never a popular move, and we always seek to absorb as much as we can before passing on increases to our trade customers,” said the spokeswoman. “Our increase also reflects the very comprehensive investment programme we continue to undertake, bringing new and exciting premium drinks to the market; attracting new customers to the on-trade and improving draught cider and beer quality.”
Tennent Caledonian, meanwhile, has said that it is currently reviewing its pricing and is yet to announce any changes across its range.
On-trade sales director, John Gilligan, said the company is “very conscious of the challenges the independent free-trade face in the current market”.
“We are reviewing our position on pricing for 2016 and will advise our customers of any changes as soon as we have reached a decision,” he said.