Enjoy your pint, but be aware of price…

Enjoy your pint, but be aware of price…

If you are thinking of celebrating international beer day on 7 August 2015 with your favourite pint, take a few moments to consider how this beverage might affect your pocket.

South Africans love their beer. Households allocated 60% of their expenditure on alcoholic beverages to this type of drink, followed by wine (23%) and spirits (18%), according to Stats SA’s Income and Expenditure Survey for 2010/111.

If you are an avid beer drinker who can relate to the statistic above, it might be disconcerting to learn that beer prices are rising faster than other alcoholic beverages. Beer prices climbed by 11,8% in June 2015 compared with June 2014, according to Stats SA’s latest Consumer price index (CPI) release2.

Prices for spirits rose by 7,1% and wine by 5,5% over the same period. Beer inflation has been in double-digit territory since March 2015.

The picture doesn’t look any better over a five-year period. Enjoying a beer which cost R10,00 during the 2010 Soccer World Cup game would now set you back R15,30. Beer prices have climbed by 53% since June 2010, outpacing price increases for other consumer items, such as meat (+41%), bread and cereals (+41%), tobacco (+33%), fruit (+25%), and new vehicles (+24%). Non-alcoholic beverages rose by 26% over the same period.

Imported beers in particular have become a lot more expensive. The average price of a 330ml bottle or can of imported beer rose by 21,9% in June 2015 compared with June 2014, from R10,92 to R13,31. In comparison, the local equivalent rose by 10,8%, from R8,99 to R9,96.

A local 330ml beer is most expensive in Gauteng (R10,45), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (R10,24) and Mpumalanga (R10,12). Free State is the place to be for the cheapest beer, with the province recording the lowest average price of R9,43 in June 2015.

However, despite rising prices, take some comfort in the fact that the price per litre for beer is still much lower than other alcoholic drinks. The per litre price for a 330ml bottle of beer was R30 per litre, much lower than a 750ml bottle of red wine (R65 per litre) and a 750ml bottle of whisky (R209 per litre).

1 Download the Income and Expenditure report here.


2 Download the latest Consumer Price Index report here.