WATCH: Price hike of beer and lager by Sainsbury's could 'entice people back into the pubs'
PUBLISHED: 18:29 20 February 2019
For beer and lager lovers, it's hard to swallow - supermarket Sainsbury's is hiking up prices of their cheap tipples but many people think it's a good idea.
For those who buy their beer in bulk at the supermarket, it’s not good news – but the move to increase the price of ‘cheap’ tipples was welcomed by many who said it will entice people back into the pubs.
Independent brewers and real ale campaigners along with many members of the public interviewed by this newspaper all gave the thumbs up to the price hike.
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Despite beer, lager and cider being usually on permanent discount as a loss leader to entice shoppers into supermarkets, Sainsbury’s has put up the cost of 150 of its cans and bottles citing price fluctuation due to ‘a number of factors.’
The biggest increase is £1 on 15 cans of Coors Light or Fosters and other price hikes equate to roughly an extra 10p on a pint with a 650ml bottle of Heineken now £1.95 instead of £1.85 and six bottles of Peroni now £7 instead of £6.50. Old Speckled Hen, Guinness Stout and London Pride are other brands which are affected.
However, Sainsbury’s online was still offering 12 330ml bottles of Sol for £9, a saving of £3 and 15 284ml bottles of Stella Artois for £9.50, a saving of £1.50.
David Holliday, who runs the Norfolk Brewhouse in Hindringham, which makes ales and hand crafted lagers, and supplies about 400 pubs across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, welcomed the price increase. He said: “I know the frustration of pubs that the big supermarkets consistently keep their prices at a low level which isn’t a level playing field. Over the last 20-25 years, the parity between the pub and the supermarket was a lot closer and the pubs were a lot busier.”
Ian Stamp, chairman of the Norwich & Norfolk branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, said he didn’t think the price rise would make too much difference.
“The government needs to cut beer duty rates and business rates as the amount of pubs are getting smaller and it’s a very difficult business.”
When this newspaper asked shoppers in Norwich, many were unfazed. David Neech said: “I think the prices should go up, it might put off youngsters buying so much.”