DISCUS Assails PLCB 4% Price Increase

A sneak attack.  Maybe not rivaling Pearl Harbor, but a sneak attack that caught distillers unaware and they had the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. let their unhappiness be known.  

What's at issue is the 4% across the board price increase on more than 3,500  of the most popular brands in state stores.  The hike was announced just 10 days before it took effect.  

“Ten days is not nearly enough time for spirits producers to plan for and adjust to price increases,” said Andy Deloney, senior vice president and head of state public policy for DISCUS. “This last-minute push by an outgoing administration will have implications not only for spirits producers, but for the Pennsylvania hospitality industry and its consumers. These decisions should be part of a larger discussion with impacted stakeholders, yet this across-the-board increase was done without any consultation or collaboration. We are extremely disappointed in the process by which this increase was determined and hope the PLCB will adjust future plans to include consideration of the partners most heavily impacted by their unilateral decision-making.”

According to the PLCB’s annual report, “in fiscal year 2021-22, the PLCB achieved total sales of $3.02 billion (including liquor and sales taxes), reflecting a $109.9 million or 3.8% increase over the prior year and marking gross wine and spirits sales over $3 billion for the first time in PLCB history. Net income for the year totaled a record $330.9 million, $66 million or 24.9% higher than fiscal year 2020-21.”

“Pennsylvania consumers have long traveled to bordering states with more favorable markets for spirits products,” said Deloney. “Increasing prices only exacerbates cross-border sales and continues to drive consumers elsewhere.”