According to the beverage market trade magazine "Inside", beer drinkers in Germany will have to reckon with beer price increases almost across the board in the coming months.
"Everything will increase," said publisher Niklas Other on Friday of the German Press Agency. In contrast to the price rounds of the past, there are no uniform dates and the scope of the previously known price increases by breweries is also not uniform.
Massively increased costs
After other large beer manufacturers in Germany such as the Radeberger Group and Krombacher, the Bitburger Braugruppe and Veltins are also planning price increases with reference to high cost increases. "The Bitburger Brewery Group will increase the sales prices for all of its brands as of February 1, 2023. The massive increase in costs, especially for energy and the raw materials most important for the brewing process, make such a price adjustment unavoidable for us," said Angelika Thielen, Head of Corporate Communications Bitburger brewery group on Friday on request. The brands König Pilsener, Köstritzer and Licher belong to the Bitburger brewing group.
Will the brewers find acceptance for the increases?
According to Other, some brewers are apparently aiming for multi-level increases at intervals of months in order to be able to better enforce them. Other mostly small beer producers immediately made a big price step. Some of the price increases will take effect in the first quarter of the new year. The standard beer crate with 20 half-litre bottles would have to be at least one euro more expensive in retail, Other estimates in view of the sharp cost increases at beer manufacturers.
"Because the market power of retailers is so great, the fate of many beers and breweries will be decided there," explained the editor of the industry magazine. The retail chains would be overwhelmed by a whole wave of price increases and would examine price changes closely. The big question will be to what extent the breweries manage to find acceptance for their plans.
"The price increases are manageable compared to other categories of goods," emphasized Other. Even in a European comparison, beer in Germany is cheap despite the high production costs. With the weekly promotional prices, retailers have created a "monster" that accounts for a large proportion of beer sales for the most popular type of beer, Pils.
At the beginning of September, the Radeberger Group announced that it intends to implement another beer price increase this year. Krombacher plans to increase prices for all products on March 1, 2023. In addition to beer, this also applies to Vitamalz and the non-alcoholic drinks from the Schweppes brand, a spokesman for Krombacher said last week. The companies did not comment on how much the sales prices would rise.