Cobra Beer Boss Warns of Price Hike

8th February 2022

The founder of beer brand Cobra has said prices will have to rise because of a “vicious cycle” of cost pressures. Lord Bilimoria said “virtually every business in every sector” is being squeezed by inflation, interest rate rises and tax increases.

The Cobra chairman, who is also president of the CBI employers’ group, said the picture had become really challenging for firms and consumers.

Lord Bilimoria told the BBC: “Our input costs in every way – bottling, energy – are up. Freight costs have soared, sometimes ten-times. Wages are increasing, and on top of that there are labour shortages. It does mean that businesses have to put up prices, but the consumer is already feeling the squeeze. It is a really challenging situation for everyone.”

He declined to say how much bottles of beer would increase, but said price rises “were a necessity”. Lord Bilimoria repeated his opposition to planned tax rises in April.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has come under pressure to scrap a planned increase in national insurance but has vowed
the rise will go ahead. “This is completely the wrong time to do this,” Lord Bilimoria added. “It will stifle investment. It will stifle growth.”