Heineken expects the cost of producing beer to increase 15% in 2008 and plans to pass those costs along to consumers, reports the Morning Advertiser in Great Britain.
Heineken’s announcement is the third warning of rising beer prices in two days following Carlsberg and S&N yesterday.
Heineken said the intended acquisition of S&N’s UK business would help it drive “premium Heineken brand growth.”
It said: “The acquisition will also add attractive brands such as Newcastle Brown Ale, Foster’s, John Smith’s Bitter and Strongbow cider to Heineken’s brand portfolio.”
The list is noteworthy for the brand not mentioned —Kronenbourg. Speculation is that the brand will be axed in the UK in favor of Heineken.
Added later Feb. 20: The Associated Press reportts that in the United States Heineken already raised wholesale prices, leading to a 5.5% increase for consumers at the cash register.
“Seeing that the domestic brands are not following that, we have not planned a price increase in the USA for 2008,” a spokesman said.