Heineken is putting up the price of beer by an average of 10.7%, citing rising energy and raw material prices, but the hospitality sector is questioning the beer giant’s motives.
Bar and restaurant owners reacted with dismay at the increase, which comes on top of a rise of 5.8% only five months ago, saying the brewer is not the only one to face higher energy costs.
The sector is struggling with staffing problems, rent increases and debts related to the coronavirus support packages as well, restaurant owner Frans van Breemen told the Parool. ‘We are caught in a vicious circle and there’s no way out,’ he said.
Robèrt Willemsen, chairman of trade organisation KHN, said he was ‘not amused’ and said the organisation would tell brewers’ association Vereniging Nederlandse Brouwers so during talks next week.
Willemsen told the AD he has doubts about whether the increase is ‘really down to higher costs caused by the crisis’ and wants Heineken to explain exactly what the rise is based on.
A Heineken spokesman said the increase was justified, saying ‘some costs have risen by 20% or more worldwide’.
Beer and cider made by Heineken have gone up in price by 16.5% since the summer, Willemsen said. ‘Bar and restaurant owners are free to charge what they like but if they want to survive they will have to put up their prices,’ he said.
Other brewers, such as Grolsch, are also rumoured to be putting up their prices.
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