UniCredit Oktoberfest analysis: Strongest beer price inflation since 2012

  • Average price per unit is EUR 11.24, 41 cents or 3,8 percent more than in the previous year
  • UniCredit Wiesn Visitor Price Index (WVPI) up by 3.3 percent
  • Per capita beer consumption to rise significantly again in 2017, after declining in 2016

When the starting signal for the 185th Wiesn is given on Saturday, the beer price in almost all Oktoberfest tents will again be higher than in the previous year. According to a UniCredit analysis published today ahead of Oktoberfest 2018, one Mass of beer costs an average of 11.24 euros - 41 cents more than in 2017. This means that beer price inflation will hit 3.8 percent this year, corresponding to the strongest price increase since 2012, when the price of beer rose by 3.9 percent.

The Wiesn Visitor Price Index (WVPI), traditionally calculated by UniCredit on the basis of prices for two Mass of beer, half a chicken and a return ticket for local public transport, has also risen again this year. At 3.3 percent, however, it is below the 3.7 percent increase of the previous year despite the significant increase in beer prices. The reason for this is the comparatively moderate increase in chicken prices by only 2 percent, after a significant 6.2 per cent in 2017.

While inflation at the Oktoberfest only knows one direction, per capita beer consumption fell for the first time in 2016, from 1.27 litres in 2015 to 1.18 litres. "The rise in per capita beer consumption last year to 1.25 litres per visitor refutes the signs of a possible turnaround," says Dr. Thomas Strobel, economist at UniCredit and author of the analysis. "Not only did per capita consumption recover significantly, it even reached its second-highest level since 1985.” The Wiesn statistics of the past year thus show that the rise in beer prices has no effect on sales.

The Oktoberfest is not alone in the inflation of beer prices. The beer prices at other festivals in South Germany have also clearly risen over the past 15 years; for instance, beer price inflation during this period was 69 percent at the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing and 47 percent at the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart. Nevertheless, no other folk festival can match the 72 percent rise in Oktoberfest beer prices.

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Munich, 19 September 2018

Matthias Fechter
Tel.: +49 89 378 25744
E-Mail: Matthias.Fechter@unicredit.de