S&N bumps beer and cider prices

12 January, 2007

Scottish & Newcastle UK will hike its wholesale prices for beer and cider by nearly 4 per cent on Jan 14.

Beer prices will rise 3.5 per cent outside duty and cider prices will climb 3.9 per cent. The company blamed "significant annual rises in the cost of utilities, materials and services" for the price hikes.

Independent retailers have cautiously welcomed the move - provided the price rise is applied to multiples as well.

"It's probably about time somebody put some prices up - there's been no price inflation on beer for years," said Alan Dunn, of Open All Hours in Keswick, Cumbria. "So long as it goes up to the multiples as well it's going to be a good thing. It's very little really, it probably won't have much impact on the retail price at the end of the day."

John Mitchell, of Mitchell's Wines in Sheffield, agreed. "Beer's been the same price for about five years. It does need changing at some time," he said.

S&N has been trumpeting the success of some of its 2006 launches. Bulmers Original has sold more than 1 million cases since its launch in May, and S&N says it is the second-biggest selling cider behind Strongbow in Tesco.

Citrus lager Foster's Twist has also done well since its launch in July . S&N said research in the autumn found that a third of shoppers who bought Foster's Twist had not bought lager in the previous 12 months.




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