A pricing mechanic which has been used extensively in independents is moving into the multiples. Both Scottish Courage and Whitbread are encouraging the major multiples to introduce the price marked packs which have been a feature of independent retailing for a number of years. Scottish Courage has struck an exclusive deal with Sainsbury to supply it with pricemarked 12 packs of 500ml cans of McEwan's Export (£9.99) and Miller Pilsner (£8.99) from June for a limited period. Whitbread has held back from putting the price on the cans but it is urging retailers to adopt a £1 a can strategy on its new one pint can of Heineken. It is suggesting to retailers that four packs should retail at £4 and will be making point of sale material available to communicate the offer. Brian Sharp, marketing director at Scottish Courage said: "Initiatives often start in the multiple grocers and are emulated in independents, but price marked packs have had a tried and trusted role in the latter for some time. "Inroads into price marked packs are being made in other categories, such as soft drinks and confectionery, but beer has been a relatively slow starter. "We are looking at extending this into other multiple grocers in the near future. Twelves are an important pack size, accounting for a fifth of total beer volume in multiple grocers, which is why they have been selected for our first foray into price marked packs in this sector." Whitbread reports that adopting this strategy on packs of its 568ml can has increased sales by 400% in one multiple. The price point represents a reduction of 40p on the four pack. The brewer is encouraging retailers in all sectors to adopt the £1 a can deal. Director of sales Steve Kitching said: "The price point will help retailers increase sales and profit through providing a consumer benefit at a time when value for money is an important consideration." {{DRINKS }}