Brewers fear beer war

Brewers fear beer  war
Photo: DPA
Stiff market competition and dwindling consumption are pushing German breweries and shops to cut beer prices by up to half, it was reported on Friday. Industry experts are worried a price war could even affect quality of the amber brew.

A case of Hasseröder beer currently costs €8.99 in many branches of Kaiser’s supermarkets while it used to cost €13. A case of budget brew Sternburg costs €5,55 at Edeka, instead of €7.20. And Feldkrone can frequently be found labelled as buy-one-case-get-one-free.

These are not, the country’s brewers association told Bild newspaper, one-off instances, as around 70 percent of beer on German shelves is on sale for a reduced price.

“Competition on the beer market is ruthless,” industry expert Jürgen-Michael Gottinger told the paper. Shops were trying to lure in customers by consistently pushing prices down.

Brewer’s association head Peter Hahn called this tactic a “ruinous price war” and said he was worried that it would affect the quality of Germany’s world-famous beer. “Something that costs nothing, is worth nothing,” said Hahn.

Market research company Drotax found that the beer industry has quadrupled the number of special offers in the past ten years.

Beer consumption in Germany has been dropping for years, Bild said. In 2012, Germans drank 105.5 litres of beer each year – 20 percent less than a decade ago.

The Local/jcw

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