Price of a pint of Guinness to rise by 4 cent next month

Diageo cites rising business costs as reason for the increase, the second hike announced by the company this year

The company wrote to all publicans in the Republic on Wednesday advising of the price increase, which will equate to five cents per pint when VAT is included, and will apply to brewery brands such as Guinness, Smithwick’s, Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13 and Carlsberg.

Diageo has cited rising business costs as the reason for imposing the increase, which will take effect from August 14th.

“We continue to experience rising input costs across our business operations in Ireland,” said a Diageo spokesperson.

Will Government’s plan for a 20c tax on disposable coffee cups have the desired effect or could it end up hurting businesses?
On this week’s episode of Inside Business, co-owner of Olive’s Room restaurant and co-founder of Vytal Ireland, Michelle Moloughney, gives Cliff Taylor her thoughts on the divisive levy.
And Irish Times business and technology journalist Ciara O’Brien on why she has been writing about Irish tech firm Intercom.

“We are working to manage and absorb much of this, but to maintain a sustainable business, we have written to our customers in the on-trade to advise them of an increase on draught beer list prices of 4 cent per pint.

“The price change will be applied across the entire draught beer range and will take effect from 14th August,” they said.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) said the price rise is “poorly timed and deeply unfair to both consumers and publicans”.

No new price increase has been announced so far for Scotland.

John Clendennen, VFI president and owner of Giltraps Bar and Glamping in Kinnity, Co Offaly, said the justification for such a price increase, and the timing of it, are “incomprehensible”.

“Diageo took a 12 cent increase back in February which, in my memory, is the highest ever increase imposed. Many of the factors under ‘rising business costs’ Diageo refer to as justification for the increase were either known back in February and included in that increase or, indeed, have reduced in the meantime,” he said.

“The timing is awful. We are in the middle of peak tourist season, businesses in tourist areas that need good summers to see them through the quiet winter period are suffering from the loss of accommodation beds, while the consumer is reeling from increased mortgage and other cost of living increases. I can’t think of a more inopportune time for a supplier to even be thinking of increasing prices, let alone doing it,” he added.

Mr Clendennen said he will be calling on Diageo to review its decision “immediately”, as he said the company is “out of tune with both their customers and the consumer”.

Meanwhile, Scots are facing even higher drinks prices as part of a plan to raise the minimum unit price of alcohol to 80p.

Drinks industry bosses have slammed the proposals to raise the minimum price from the current 50p-per-unit which was included in a Scottish Government consultation document.

The proposal would mean a bottle of whisky could rise by more than £8 and a six-pack of Tennent’s 500ml lager could go up to almost a tenner. Health campaigners last night claimed the move would help tackle Scotland’s continuing alcohol health problems.

However, the move has been criticised by drinks bosses who say it is too much for families already struggling during a cost-of-living crisis.

Hussan Lal, President of the Federation of Independent Retailers, said: “This could price out those who look forward to a beer or a glass of wine. It would be particularly hard when family budgets are already badly squeezed by the cost of living crisis.”

Lal added: “We can see the argument for increasing the price which has been in place for five years, a time of inflation. However, over 80p is over the top.”

A minimum unit price of 50p was introduced in 2018 following legislation backed by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Government. A study found MUP was linked to a 13 per cent drop in the number of deaths from alcohol consumption.

The current minimum-unit-price will expire next year and a review is taking place on its continuation. A Scottish Government consultation on the new limit was sent out to industry groups and set out a range of options.

The options include sticking with the current 50p minimum, reducing the price, as well increasing the price to as much as 80p-a-unit. If MUP was increased from 50p to 80p, a bottle of Famous Grouse (70cl) would increase from a minimum of £14 to £22.40.

The document states: “This survey is for people working in the alcoholic drinks industry to share with the Scottish Government their views on what impact any change to the level of minimum unit pricing would have on their business and industry. These responses will inform the Scottish Government’s review on the level of minimum unit pricing.”

Other questions include asking retailers how they would use extra revenues generated from MUP, as well as the “lead-in time” to implement any change.

The Scotch Whisky Association said: “Alcohol misuse is complex but is a challenge that must be addressed. The Scotch Whisky industry is committed to working in partnership with the Scottish government to achieve that shared goal.

“The fact remains that alcohol harm is a complex societal issue that cannot be tied to the effectiveness of a particular policy. Evaluating the impact of MUP is not straightforward and has been made more complex by the pandemic.

“Before considering the next steps on MUP, the Scottish government should, as it has committed to doing with the alcohol advertising consultation, work with the alcohol industry and fully consult on any future measures.”

Dr Tamasin Knight, consultant in public health and member of the BMA’s Scottish Council, said: “When BMA Scotland campaigned strongly and consistently for minimum unit pricing it was because we were clear that it would save lives and reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions in the long-term.

“Evidence is now showing it is working – and with further commitment to MUP and other measures to tackle our country’s difficult relationship with alcohol, we hope to see this trend continue.

“The key now is to continue building on the progress that has been made, and for the Scottish government to redouble their efforts – they can do this by uprating the MUP, given the impact of inflation and then focusing on ensuring there is a package of supportive measures in place to ensure we aren’t simply relying on MUP to reduce the damage done by problem alcohol use in Scotland.”

Leave a Reply