AB InBev: UK beer prices will rise in next two years

AB InBev’s president for Northern Europe, Jason Warner, has said that “there has to be an increase” in the price of beer as UK inflation rises.

Warner made the comments in a recent interview with The Sunday Telegraph, suggesting that the increasing costs incurred by the company in the UK could soon be passed on to the consumer.

Global brewing giant AB InBev, the owner of brands such as Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser, is now the world’s biggest beer company, following the completion of its merger with SABMiller in October 2016.

“There has to be an increase,” Warner said. “We are starting to see the real inflation rate of the UK coming through and for our retail partners they will see it across all categories,” he added. He did not specify the extent of the expected price rise.

Since August last year, UK inflation has increased by 2% while the Consumer Price Index, which measures changes in the prices of consumer goods and services, has also risen from 0.6% to 2.6% (July 2017.)

In db‘s recent survey of the top 10 largest beer brands, AB InBev now owns five of the 10 brands listed and also controls the production and distribution of another, Skol, in South America – the beer brand’s biggest market. Its domination of the market combined with Warner’s inference that it will be increasing its prices, means that the change will be particularly noticeable for the consumer.

This follows news that, according to the Good Pub Guide, the average price of a pint in the UK has risen by 13p in the past year to £3.60. This year, however, for the the first time in the guide’s 36-year history, London is not the most expensive place to buy beer having been overtaken by neighbouring Surrey.

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