The Recession Hits Where It Hurts: Higher Prices for Beer and Steaks
Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock finds that inflation will soon hit home for some, with price hikes on the horizon from beer manufacturers and cattle farmers. First, Weisenthal cites a Los Angeles Times story explaining that brewers are being affected by increases in commodity prices, leading them to the unusual step of charging more for beer.
The nation’s two largest beer sellers said Tuesday that they planned to raise prices, although they provided few specifics.
“We feel like we will take a moderate price increase on our portfolio,” said Peter Marino, spokesman for Chicago-based MillerCoors, maker of Miller Lite, Coors Light and Blue Moon. He blamed higher costs for the price hike.
Like other food manufacturers, brewers have been hit by commodity price increases in recent years, but have not been as aggressive about raising prices, analysts said. Traditionally they raise prices in the fall.
“Beer is a pretty good value right now, and we think we can raise prices on a market-by-market basis,” Marino said.
Anheuser-Busch Cos., maker of Budweiser and Bud Light, confirmed that its prices also were going up. The St. Louis-based brewer said it was raising prices on most of its beers and in most regions this fall.
It’s not just beer. Weisenthal says Beef Magazine also concludes that the global recession will lead to higher cattle prices — meaning steak will become more expensive as well.
Food in America has been cheap for a long time, and consumers have become accustomed to taking that fact for granted. When there are price hikes on things like steak and beer, it’s bound to be noticed, especially if a nice night out at a restaurant costs considerably more than in the past. It may give already jittery consumers yet another reason to pull back on their spending, and provide more fuel for the argument that any recovery will be about as robust as a flat glass of suds.