According to the Bitburger Brewery Group, beer drinkers will have to expect more frequent price increases than before. "This industry needs regular price increases in order to survive," said the managing director for technology and environment, Jan Niewodniczanski, on the occasion of the annual balance sheet. He referred to massive cost increases for breweries in recent times, including energy and malt through to beer bottles. However, discussions with retailers about higher prices are difficult.
Before the pandemic and energy crisis, cost increases could only be passed on to consumers over longer periods of time. Several decades ago, a crate of beer cost 20 Deutschmarks, while baked goods or petrol have become considerably more expensive since then, said Niewodniczanski. The Bitburger brewing group had increased the prices for some of its brands last year and implemented another price increase this year.
After declines during the pandemic, the Bitburger brewing group achieved an increase in sales of more than 15 percent to 729 million euros with the restart of gastronomy and major events in the 2022 financial year. Revenue rose faster than sales, which increased by almost 11 percent to 5.8 million hectoliters. The group has thus come close to the pre-corona level. Adjusted for the Wernesgrüner brewery in the Saxon Vogtland, which was sold to Carlsberg Germany, it was 6.09 million hectoliters in 2019.
In 2022, double-digit sales growth was not only recorded for the Bitburger brand (14 percent), but also for König Pilsener (19 percent), Licher (15 percent) and Köstritzer (12 percent). The greatest sales growth was achieved with the Benediktiner Weißbräu brand (34 percent). In addition to wheat beer, light beer is also offered under the Bavarian brand. It is produced in Ettal, Bavaria, and in Lich, Hesse. There is a sales partnership between the Bitburger Brewery Group and Benediktiner Weißbräu GmbH.