Monday, 22 March 2010

Carling conundrum

In the Morning Advertiser this week we learn that Coors is apparently making only a penny a pint on their beer. I'm not clever enough to understand how this works. Microbreweries can make a living with a 10 barrel plant, while the country's leading lager brand can only barely break even on sales of nearly 7 million barrels a year. It does suggest very strongly that cooking lager and real ale are not remotely the same market these days.

And yet in CAMRA's latest BEER magazine we are told "Carling … pays the wages and has funded White Shield for years."

They can't both be right.

5 comments:

  1. It must be all that expensive 100% British barley they use...

    Or the fact they sell 20 cans for £8, or something.

    Maybe they should cut the advertising spend...

    Doing the (rough) sums, that still equals almost £17 million. And I'm guessing that figure is their profit at then end of everything?

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  2. Marketing, financial and PR departments, sponsoring the Carling Cup, paying big money to some CEO and other pretty much useless executives all that doesn't come cheap, you know...

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  3. My old local used to make about 1p a pint on Carling, so I assume all of the rest of the £3.19 per pint went elsewhere...obviously not to the manufacturers though?!?!

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  4. Certainly it's not the same market. Cooking lager (like the term) is basically a fungible product; nobody really cares whether they are drinking Coors, Carling, Foster's, XXXX, Budweiser or whatever. If one were to retail at a higher price then people would simply switch to another. Real ales are individually distinctive and chosen on taste; real-ale drinkers are happier to pay a higher price from a product they like.

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  5. Barry, I'd like to agree, but in my experience drinkers are often extremely loyal to their chosen brand of cooking lager.

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