Beer prices to climb

One of Austria’s biggest breweries decided to increase its consumer prices.

Ottakringer – Vienna’s major beer firm – said today (Tues) it would charge three to five per cent more for its products. The price hikes will be felt by shoppers from March, according to business experts. A spokesman for the company claimed that “all the others” were raising their prices as well.

Ottakringer argued it was challenged by rising production process costs. The firm explained that all ingredients but hop had become more expensive in the past months. Ottakringer most recently introduced a consumer price increase last March when its 0.5-litre beer bottles and cans became two Eurocents dearer.

Other breweries are expected to follow the example of Ottakringer shortly. The Viennese enterprise’s statement comes only weeks after Germany’s leading beer producer, Radeberger, revealed it would increase its prices in February 2012. Radeberger officials said the firm was forced to raise consumer prices to cover soaring electricity prices and other cost increases.

Ottakringer has its headquarters in the Viennese district of Ottakring. The company’s factory is situated in Ottakring as well. Ottakringer merged with mineral water manufacturer Vöslauer in 2009. The beer company sold over 616,000 hectolitres of lager in 2010. Ottakringer and Vöslauer have around 360 employees altogether.

Ottakringer is one of the busiest Austrian producers of beer. The domestic market is dominated by Brau Union which manufactures brands like Puntigamer and Zipfer. Ottakringer’s decision to increase prices follows news that Austria’s inflation was 3.4 per cent in October. Especially dairy products, coffee and car fuel became more expensive. The price of non-alcoholic drinks and bread shot up as well from October 2010 to the same month of the current year.

Austrians drink 110 litres of beer a year per person on average. Only people living in the neighbouring Czech Republic have a higher per capita consumption at 154 litres. Germans are the third-biggest fans of lager (107 litres).