Many products and services have also become more expensive in the past month, the Central Bureau of Statistics confirmed the sentiments of many people this morning. As a consumer, on top of that, you paid approximately 14 percent more for food and drink than in December 2021. Catering entrepreneurs also pay more for their beer and – out of necessity – pass it on to the customer.
Since January 1, catering entrepreneurs have paid 10.7 percent more for Heineken beer. At Grolsch, it is around 7 percent.
Also in Breda. Beer is going to cost a lot during Carnival next month more than during the previous edition: lagers then cost 3.30 euros instead of 3. “It’s the first time we’ve seen such an increase in costs during the party,” says Peter van Belle, owner of a hotel and restaurant.
Van Belle is one of the eighty entrepreneurs who voted on the price of the ‘leutpenningen’, a payment coin during Carnival. According to the operator, beer prices are a sensitive issue. “Like the price of petrol, it affects people directly. But we are held accountable for it, because we are the last stop.”
Catering entrepreneur Farid Bicane explains why beer is getting more expensive;
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Van Belle calls the price increase significant, but the entrepreneur is not worried. “If you celebrate a good carnival for three days, and drink twenty beers a day, then you are not even two tens more expensive than usual. We have also been indoors for a long time, so I think people want to have a party .”
No way out
Heineken already raised prices for entrepreneurs twice last year, by 3.4 and 5.8 percent. It is now more than 10 percent. “Whether it’s transport, raw materials or packaging materials, prices skyrocket when it comes to brewing, packaging and transporting our beer,” says a spokesperson.
According to the company, Heineken does not charge all costs to the catering industry. “We absorb part of the cost increases ourselves. But we cannot avoid passing the price increases on to the customers. It is up to the catering entrepreneur whether and to what extent he raises the prices.”
Not everyone raises prices or by such leaps. Hertog Jan, Jupiler and other beers from the beer giant AB Inbev have not become more expensive from 1 January. It happened at the end of October. According to a spokesman, it is unknown what the prices will be this year for the restaurant industry and the retail trade.
The countless small Dutch breweries are also implementing price increases, although they appear to be quite a bit smaller than for the ‘big’ beer brands. For example, Gooische Bierbrouwerij says it will raise prices by around 5 percent this year, but also doesn’t want to pass on the full cost increase.
“We are a local company and see the man or woman who drinks our beer,” says co-owner Guido de Wit. He delivers in the region and to national supermarkets. “We are not afraid that the customers will go differently, but we have a warm heart for them: they are also having a hard time,” says De Wit.
By limiting this price increase, the entrepreneur says he is depleting his reserves. “But by growing as a business, for example, we hope to make up for the lost revenue. At the end of the day, it’s also about the question: what is the customer willing to pay? And that will eventually come to an end.”
Peter Rosendal manages both the Twentse Bierbrouwerij and a wine shop, which he supplies to the hospitality industry. He raised the prices of his own beers by about 6 percent in the summer. “That’s all we do now. We try to keep it small and cute, we always say.”
For the beverages he distributes, he says he has no choice but to maintain the price increases of the beer brands he buys. “And I must say: During the covid years, the brewers have been nice. They collected and refunded unsold beer. It cost a lot of money.”
Rosendal also sees that costs are indeed much higher than usual, even in his own brewery. “It’s Ukraine, it’s electricity, it’s grain. It’s all difficult, the brewers say. And it’s true. When I see what the glassware for my beer costs now, it knocks you over.”
The entrepreneur says that it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to stay afloat. “You really can’t pass everything on to the customer. Then the question is whether the customer stays or whether your tent is empty. It’s a strange time. And I keep my heart for the hotel industry in the Netherlands.”