Seasonal price-cutting has cost the beer industry millions that could have been invested in innovation, according to InBev UK, supplier of the number one beer brand Stella Artois.
Discussing the impact on InBev’s lager stable alone, Stuart MacFarlane, UK MD of take-home, said the average per-litre price of standard lager last Christmas in the multiple grocers was 6p less than in 1995, falling from £1.24 to £1.18. He said the price of premium lager had fallen even further, by 24p from £2.01 to £1.77. “If the average price of premium lager had been held at the same level as 1995 - £2.19 - this alone would have increased the value of Christmas sales in 2004 by £40m.”
He said there had been greater price stability last Christmas with the blow of discounting eased by the by the emergence of 20-packs rather than 24-packs. Brewers say there should be a focus on all pack sizes this Christmas to prevent deflation.
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