Marston’s is freezing prices on all but three draught and packaged drinks brands for its tenants and lessees as part of its annual price rise for 2011. A price rise of 1% will be added to Carling, Guinness and Peroni but all other prices will be frozen when its new price list comes into effect on 28 March. Marston’s Pub Company category development manager Dave Percival said: “With prices of almost everything we pay for rising, from petrol for our cars, to a loaf of bread the drinks industry is not immune to this. “What we have done however, is to only pass on the costs that we absolutely have to; just three drinks from our range of 130 draught and packaged products will see slight price rises. “And, by getting the right product range could mean that licensees will remain unaffected by the pricing changes. “Because we haven’t put prices up across the board, licensees can choose from a huge range of draught and packaged products. Stocking brands that are exempt from the increase will help them best protect margins without passing on costs to customers.” Percival highlighted the “different commercial strategies” of some brand owners that meant Marston’s was unable to freeze prices of their products. Percival said there are “no further plans” to add other price rises this year, although he “can’t guarantee it”. Last year Marston’s deferred its annual price rise for tenants, which typically takes place in the first few months of the year, until October, when an increase of around 2%-2.5% was added. Among other tenanted operators, Enterprise Inns has added an average price increase of 3.8%, and Punch of 3.3%, this year. Greene King added 3.8% on average but, along with Admiral Taverns, froze prices on a couple of brands. A number of regional operators such as Brakspear, Charles Wells and Adnams have frozen prices for tenants, while Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company has passed on the wholesale price rises.