BEER PRICE HIKE PROBED

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
@SunZambian
AN investigation in the increased pric-es of clear beer following a shutdown of operations at the Zambian Breweries plant has been instituted by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
The average price for a small size Mosi bottle is K10 with the big one going at K15 while the big Castle goes for K17 and a small one is K10.


Castle Lite big bottle is about K18 and small quantity is K10.
A small bottle of Black Label is K10 while Eagle Lager for a big bottle is K14 and small one is K7 but all the brands had been adjusted upwards by K5.

The anti-competitive conduct is mainly in relation to price increments and tying and bundling of clear beer products of Zambian Breweries PLC, says CCPC Public Relations Officer, Rainford Mutabi.
Mr Mutabi stressed that the CCPC was cognisant of the effect this had on consumers as they had to pay higher prices.
CCPC, he said, would update the public on the developments in the investigations. Mr Mutabi said this in response to a press query.


“The Commission is currently investigating incidents of anti-competitive conduct in the selling of clear beer in various parts of the country,” the statement reads in part.
“For instance, retailers are forced to purchase Castle Lite which is in normal and steady supply when they go to pur-chase Carling Black Label Lager which is in high demand and short supply.”

Further, Mr Mutabi explained, some distributors allegedly hiked the price of clear beer products to take advantage of the high demand for the commodities such as Carling Black Label Lager.


Recently, Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director, Ezekiel Sekele, complained that some traders had hiked prices of clear beer in Lusaka following the shortage of the commodity on the market.

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