4% price increase to take effect January 15

With just 10 days’ notice, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) notified spirits suppliers that, effective January 15, 2023, they are implementing an across-the-board price increase of 4% on more than 3,500 of the most popular brands sold in state stores.

“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 the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (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.”