Czech beer Pilsner Urquell is significantly cheaper at German supermarkets

On the heels of Czech PM Petr Fiala's Nutella adventure last year, local journalists have pointed out an even more surprising price disparity. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.01.2024 16:16:00 (updated on 21.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech PM Petr Fiala made headlines last year when he traveled to Germany to point out the lower price of Nutella across the border, but local journalists have found an even more surprising price disparity. According to, even cans of Czech beer Pilsner Urquell are significantly cheaper in German supermarkets.

While Czech supermarkets are charging up to CZK 40 for a half-liter can of the iconic local beer, German retailer Kaufland offers it for a mere EUR 0.99 (approximately CZK 24.80). For comparison, Kaufland supermarkets in the Czech Republic retail half-liter cans of Pilsner Urquell for CZK 37.90, while markets such as Billa charge even more.

The stark price difference raises questions, considering the beer is brewed in the Czech Republic, and potentially incurs higher transportation costs when shipped to the German market.

PM Fiala's trip to Germany last November highlighted the cost disparities between the two countries. However, the focus on the pricing of a beloved national product might be of more significance to Czech consumers. The price difference implies substantial savings for Czechs willing to cross the border for their beer, potentially saving up to CZK 300 on a carton of 24 cans.

In explaining the price difference, Kaufland representatives told that contract terms with suppliers are negotiated locally, adapting to the specific market conditions of each country. They manage their pricing strategies based on the local market, with a focus on offering favorable prices within that specific region.

Pilsner Urquell, brewed in the Czech Republic, is a national favorite not only in its home country but also in Germany. The pricing strategy adopted by German retailers, keeping the cost of Pilsner Urquell at under one euro, is seen as a deliberate move to entice customers.

According to Plzeňský Prazdroj spokesman Zdeněk Kovář, the final beer price is determined by the retailer, irrespective of the country. Beer holds a prominent position in the offerings of major retail chains, acting as a significant draw for customers.

Analyst Petr Havel, meanwhile, tells that the premium reputation the Pilsner Urquell brand in the Czech Republic might contribute to higher pricing compared to Germany. The beer's perception as the highest quality may be reflected in an elevated price within the Czech market.

Havel also considers factors such as higher Czech inflation, consumer behavior in accepting higher prices, and the difference in value-added tax (VAT) rates (19 percent in Germany compared to 21 percent in the Czech Republic) as potential influences on the beer pricing disparity.

The exact reasons for Pilsner Urquell's lower prices across the border aren't likely to hold any comfort for Czech consumers, who have long travelled abroad in search of more affordable groceries. Ironically, they can now add a beloved Czech product to their shopping list while at the German market.

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