Price gouging extraordinaire

Diageo Norway sent a bombshell into whisky circles when the newest price list for Vinmonopolet was released. Two malts in particular stood out like a sore thumb: Talisker 18 Years Old and Caol Ila 18 Years Old.

Previousy they had a price tag of just under 500 NOK (T18=499,99 NOK/£50.62 and CI18=484 NOK/£49), both quite reasonably priced, even when comparing to other markets. But when September came a shock was to come…

…both expressions had almost dobled in price. The new price tag read 950 NOK (£96.17)!!!

A short question was sent off to Diageo Norway: Why? And an almost as quick reply came back: Low stocks. Ok, the real reply was somewhat longer and nos as to the point, but this was the explanation to the horrid price rise.

Diageo has a few years ago problems with stocks of 16 year old Lagavulin and are now experiencing the same problems with other distilleries. But if that’s the case, why is Norway the only country (I have found so far) that get’s this hike? Got in touch with Diageo UK’s Comsumer Care and got a reply that no price increase was planned in the immediate future. That’s strange, low stock and no increase on the home market?

Stranger still is it that the Travel Retail-bussiness are also hit with an increase in price. The reaction from the Norwegian Duty Free-retailer is to discontinue both bottlings as soon as current stock runs out. The bottles in stock will be sold at the old price of 585 NOK/litre (£59.22). I also belive that on of the co-owners of the Norwegian Duty Free-retailer, Gebr. Heinemann, are discontinuing these malts as well – untill the prices from Diageo go back to normal.

If low stock really is the problem, why single out Norway? Of the two Talisker 18 Years is the biggest seller, with a whooping 1953 bottles being sold last year – reduce that a bit and the warehouses on Skye will fill up in an ice age or two.

But if low stocks really is a big a problem as Diageo Norway claims, watch out. As a price hike might hit your local shop in the months to come.

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2 Responses to “Price gouging extraordinaire”

  1. smsmmns Says:

    Sorry about Vinmonopolet.
    Pricing is crazy and varies country to country but it seems we can expect more of these increases as we consumers put pressure on supply and distillers see what the market can bear.

  2. whiskyviking Says:

    Hi smsmmns. I think the distillers are redifining their markets, something that might result in less choice for us consumers in our local area. Low stock mean they can’t be everywhere with everything – might just make it fun to travel again (getting a more varied selection depending on wherre you go).
    The lack of stock seems to be spreading a bit. While Diageo maintains the presence of these whiskies on the Norwegian market, they’re about to remove them completely from the Swedish one.

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