OHIM Tirade – Heineken puts last nail in pub’s coffin

Misset Horeca ’s web site told us Heineken is about to increase pricing towards bars, again. Vitriolic they wrote landlords ‘received the meanwhile traditional, annual letter with new pricing’ – not just very true, sometimes that letter came thrice a year – but other than that, no word of criticism by Misset. How incorrect!

Heineken The Netherlands CEO Pascal Gilet gets ample room to complain about all things becoming more expensive – you almost feel pitty for him – to justify the ‘not unrealistic’ price increase. I bet he’s right, but why only take price to on-trade? A landlord these days cannot, without vicarious shame, price a glass of beer – it has lost all relation to the reality of a supermarket. It seems beer pricing by large breweries is painful euthanasia on an important profession – or downright murder.

Heineken takes a bar’s purchase price for a 50-liter keg to € 133,39, a 2,6% increase. Including this, price for a 50-liter keg has risen 57% in the last decade – yet retail price in the supermarket hardly changed at all. Schermafdruk 2015-11-29 21.53.52Late November 2012 a 24-pack of Heineken 30 cl bottles retailed at € 14,19 and Albert Heijn threw it at us for a mere € 9,99. This past week, Albert Heijn discounted a 24-pack of Heineken 30 cl bottles at € 9,99 (normal price being € 14,19).

Oi – wait a minute! That’s NO increase in retail…how different is reality for a landlord!

prijskaartjeIn 2012 a bar paid € 108,75 for a keg, and that will be € 133,39 in a month or so: that’s 23% and just a bit over 24 euro more. That’s € 161,40 including VAT, or € 3,23 per liter. And here’s my pain – oh yes, monsieur Gilet! A landlord pays well over a euro per liter more at standard retail price, and well over double when being discounted – and he hasn’t even switched the light on yet. All things are becoming more expensive indeed, and it is us (you and me, consumers) who pay most for it.

fust-50-liter-heineken_1Because you wish to take ‘going to the pub’ away from us, or at least so it seems monsieur Gilet: why does a nice draft Heineken in a pub have to cost between €2,50 and € 3,50? That’s for a quart liter glass – around five to seven times as expensive as in a supermarket! A pub owner can’t keep up that way! If you’d rather be rid of all those cozy bars – why don’t you just say so? At least it’s honest and we all know where we stand. As a bonus, you can turn all those A-locations into little supermarkets, give your university-schooled account managers a neat Harrie Piekema – makeover so those sweet boys and girls get to know what work really is like. And we’ll retreat into tasting rooms of brewpubs and local breweries where we lovingly pay a fair price for a fair product – we won’t bother you no more, we consumers. Bye Monsieur Gilet!

Schermafdruk 2015-11-29 22.31.20Post scriptum: it actually gets even weirder. Duvel, for example, seems to have become cheaper! In December 2008, Dirk III discounted a six-pack from € 7,15 for € 6,49: today, Albert Heijn sells at € 5,89!


Heineken's stock value seems oblivious to our wordly problems.

Heineken’s stock value seems oblivious to our wordly problems.

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