Wallaces TCB has announced it will put its beer prices up from March 1. Licensees will see an increase of 2.1% on a duty inclusive basis to the published wholesale list price of its draught beer and cider brands (this is slightly down from a 2.2% increase last year) while its wholesale list price on AB Inbev brands will increase by 3% also on a duty inclusive basis.
Brian Calder, CEO, Wallaces TCB, commented, “We recognise that the current economic climate, coupled with recent changes in government legislation brings challenging times for the licensed trade. We will continue to support and invest in our customers and our brands, and give them our commitment that the wholesale price increase announced will be the only one applied to our brands in 2015 (excluding any duty alterations imposed by the Chancellor). The wholesale list price increase of 2.1% on our draught brands is, we believe, the lowest increase of any of the major brewers announced to date. Also this is the first such increase on our draught cider brands since 2012.
He continues, “We at WTCB value our customers highly. We continue to be committed to Scotland, its licensed trade and our customers as we strive to be the multi beverage wholesaler of choice to the Scottish Licensed trade.”
Heineken and Carlsberg announced their wholesales increases earlier this year. With Carlsberg putting on increases of between 2.9% and 3.6% and Heineken ‘s price increases including an additional £5.05 on an 11g keg of Foster’s. Molson Coors has not revealed any price increases for Scotland as yet.
All of of the brewers say that they have tried to keep increases to a minimum. Although some licensees believe that with the cost of delivery going down due to the reduced cost of diesel, prices should have, at the very least, remained the same. Said one, “In the same way that they pass on increases, brewers should pass on savings when they occur.”
Meanwhile the British Beer and Pub Association has revealed that for the first time UK-wide sales of beer were up 1.3% in 2014. They say this heralds the end of a decade of decline, however they could not say whether sales were up or down in Scotland, as their data didn’t allow for this. However C&C have reported 2.4% decline in sales volumes in Scotland while Greene King, owners of Belhaven, cited softer trading here, following the introduction of tougher drink-driving laws. This suggests that the picture may not be as rosy in Scotland. Although craft beer sales may have taken up some of the slack.