Consumers of Carib products will now be paying $1 more for their beverages.
The price increase came into effective on Monday and will apply to bottled and canned products of Carib, Carib Pilsner, Stag, Carib Blue, Royal Extra Stout, Coors, Heineken, Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and Blue Moon.
Caribe, Hurricane Reef and Mackeson prices remain the same and the cost of non-alcoholic beverages such as Shandy, Ginseng, Malta and Smalta also remains unchanged.
Speaking with Newsday, Ansa McAl’s chief of legal and head of external affairs Frances Bain-Cumberbatch said the company has tried to hold its prices for a long time, but external factors had forced changes in the pricing structure.
She said, “The price increase was not something that was done readily. We held back. Many other companies, particularly in the beverage industry, would have increased their prices a long time ago.
“We held back in many ways because we knew and understood it was a difficult time for everyone. So Carib has done that.
"There may be adjustments in the other companies under the purview of Ansa McAl, but I am unable to say which ones at this time. I know it would be done not as a first measure, but only when absolutely necessary, as was the case with Carib.”
Primary ingredients used in manufacturing and producing beer, hops and wheat, have increased in price over the past few months, and this has been compounded by price increases in freight and shipping.
These increased cost factors affecting wheat have also led to state-owned National Flour Mills and another flour-manufacturing company, Nutrimix, to raise prices on flour by as much as 22 per cent in some cases.
President of the Barkeepers’ and Owners’ Association (BOATT) Satesh Moonsar said they were already in a financial crisis owing to closures brought on by the pandemic, and with this new price increase owners will longer be able to absorb price shocks.
“The price increase was something we were anticipating for a couple of months now, because other companies have raised, including Angostura and Brydens. The bars have no other choice to make adjustments as well. Carib has made incremental increases over the years and bars have tried to absorb the costs, but we will not be able to do that any longer. A beer would now be $12, up from $10.
“Members are really concerned about the situation, because we have to monitor the prices of everything going forward. Hopefully this should be the end of it, where there would not be any further increases. It is a difficult situation on top of an already difficult situation.” he said.
Moonsar said BOATT cannot afford another lockdown and called for responsible behaviour by patrons and for the police to crack down on bars and other establishments that were encouraging overcrowding and neglecting the health protocols.
He said, “This is something we have been discussing with the TTPS over the past few months and it has become prevalent. In some cases, it is a situation where the TTPS is encouraging it and turning a blind eye to particular establishments, due to whatever affiliations. This is something that has been brought to the attention of the acting commissioner of police, but no action is being taken.
“It is something that is concerning to us, and we need to get a handle on it as soon as possible, because this is not in the best interest for us and the country. The activity is throughout the country, but places of interests are south, central and west Trinidad.”