When Dagbladet checked several stores on Thursday afternoon to see the price of Hamar Julebrus in a six-pack in a glass bottle, the gap was wide.
On the Meny website, these six-packs cost NOK 131.40. This gives a price per liter of NOK 66.36.
At Spar Hasle in Oslo, a six-pack costs NOK 125.40, giving a liter price of NOK 63.13.
In Coop’s online store, the price of Christmas soda is the same as that of the Norgesgruppen Spar and Meny series, at 63.33 per litre.
In Oda’s online store we found a six-pack of Christmas soda for NOK 77.40, NOK 50 cheaper than Meny’s. The price per liter of Oda is NOK 39.09.
Kiwi’s Christmas catalog also mentions a much lower price than the Spar, Meny, and Coop, and it rounds out the top spot at NOK 36.06 per litre.
More expensive than beer
Prices at Mini and Spar, among others, are more expensive per liter than several beers.
For example, the price per liter for six half-liter bottles of Ringnes, Hansa and Aas pilsner is NOK 59.80 in Meny.
For a 0.33 can of, say, Ringnes, the price per liter is NOK 76.36, ten NOK more expensive than a Christmas soda.
Thus, there is not much to be spared for those who would rather have a soft drink for Christmas than a stick for the country during the après-ski season.
However, at Oda, you can’t get a beer cheaper than a Christmas soda. The online shop charges NOK 53.83 per liter for six packs of Ringnes pints.
Norgesgruppen’s director of communications, Kine Søyland, says the chains themselves are responsible for pricing the goods. Therefore it cannot answer on what basis Spar OG Mini sets its prices.
Regarding the price difference between beer and Christmas soda, she said, however, that it may have something to do with volume.
– The smaller each unit, the relatively more expensive the content becomes, Søyland tells Dagbladet.
– Very special
Parliament representative and former Minister of Agriculture and Food Bård Hoksrud says he’s not particularly knowledgeable about Christmas soda from Hamar and Lillehammer, as he himself swears by the telemark range of Trio.
When he is informed of the results of Dagbladet’s investigation, he nonetheless thinks it strange that the price of Christmas soda is so high in some chains.
– This sounds very special. It shouldn’t be more expensive than beer, Hoksrud tells Dagbladet — there’s a lot more tax on beer than on soft drinks.
Hoksrud, who also has a past as a store manager, speculates whether soft drinks were simply mispriced by the chains, and that this is something they should look into.
They should check if that’s the right price, because people can probably quickly tell each other they should buy their Christmas soda elsewhere, says Hoksrud.
– Best prices in the market
Dagbladet has contacted Spar, Coop and Meny for comment on the price difference, but has so far only succeeded in getting a response from Spar.
However, they do not answer why the 0.33 liter bottle is more expensive, but mention the 1.5 liter bottles as a cheaper alternative.
– Spare 4 pcs. 1.5 liters of soft drinks of your choice (including Christmas soft drinks) on offer until Christmas. This gives a price per liter of NOK 9.98 per litre, which is one of the best on the market, so this Christmas soft drink is by far our most sold, says Spar’s communications manager Hanne Evensen in an email to Dagbladet.
Ringnes, which owns Hamar and Lillehammer breweries, doesn’t want to comment on the price difference either.
– We do not interfere in this, the stores themselves decide the retail price, communications director Nikolai Brosgaard tells Dagbladet.
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