Global hop marketA local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms.
Hop Market in RussiaGermany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.
10+1 trends of Russian beer market 2015-2017Despite of the moderately negative prognoses for 2017, the beer market can be stabilized soon. Yet the years of the negative dynamics have resulted in marketing being limited just to “optimization” and the art of balancing between price and volumes. Bigger supermarkets share means stronger trade marketing. These processes are connected to the majority of the described trends. At the same time, the federal brands inflation leads to searching for new tastes, sales channels and contact formats that expand the product range and diversify the beer market, but do not imply a substantial volume increase. Let us enumerate and further discuss the ten trends of the beer market we can see in 2015-2017 as well as the major event of 2017.
Beer market of Ukraine 2017In the first half of 2017, the Ukrainian beer market goes on decreasing slowly. Yet, the companies manage to compensate their lost volumes by raising prices and improving the sales structures. This results in the mid price market segment reduction while the sales of premium brands are rising. These processes are connected to position strengthening of companies Carlsberg Group and Oasis and the market share reduction of Obolon. Most of the novelties by the market leaders belong to craft or hard lemon categories.
Beer market of Russia 2016: PET goes to draftThe beer market of Russia was warmed up by the hot summer, but the preparation for large volume PET prohibition has already impacted it negatively. The year was successful for Efes, MBC and regional producers; Carlsberg’s positions were virtually stable but AB InBev and Heineken lost a part of market share having focused on the sales profitability. The dynamics of big brands was determined by how much the companies were willing to keep the prices down or by their promotional activity. In this context the economy segment of the beer market and sales of inexpensive draft beer were increasing. The premium segment started shrinking due to license brands migrating to the mainstream segment.
New tap system has beer flowing faster
Bottoms Up, an appropriately named beer dispensing system designed by GrinOn Industries in Montesano, Wash., debuted in Philadelphia during the Philadelphia Flyers' 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, and it was a smashing success, according to Ike Richman, spokesman for Comcast-Spectacor, owner of the Flyers, 76ers and the arena itself.
"It's an Internet phenomenon," Richman said. "It was being talked about and written about all over the place. We looked it up and investigated it and finally brought it in [Tuesday] night."
The system involves filling a specially designed cup from the bottom with a perfect pour from a tap in less than 5 seconds. What it means is that 40 or more beers can be poured in a typical four-tap station in less than a minute, which represents a boon to both consumers and the stadium industry.
The cups feature an opening on the bottom covered by magnetic disks that are temporarily displaced when they are placed on the taps, which fill them to the top with perfect pours every time. As soon as the cups are taken off the tap, the disks fall right back into place, creating a seal that prevents any leaks.
After the beers are finished, the magnets, which always feature some sort of company or event logo, can be saved as commemorative pieces that consumers can also hang on their refrigerators.
According to Richman, Tuesday night's debut was the first for this technology in the region. Sports venues in other areas of the country, such as Jacksonville, Fla., and Washington, D.C., had them first.More almost certainly will follow.
"We are researching the product now and considering its use for the upcoming season," Lehigh Valley IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes said. "But [it is] more likely for 2012. The video of the product is impressive."
Representatives of GrinOn Industries and other Philadelphia professional sports teams could not be reached for comment about this system.
Bottoms Up benefits consumers by cutting down or eliminating beer lines altogether during breaks in the action. Suppliers benefit by being able to sell so much more than before, with fewer fans growing discouraged by the wait or the poor quality and temperature of tap beer that is poured well ahead of time.
The caveat, for now, is that typically only one brand of beer is available in these setups. At the Wells Fargo center, for example, Budweiser is the "official" beer of the arena, and only Bud Light is available in the Bottoms Up system.
Richman doesn't expect that to change because of the marketing agreement with Budweiser.
So obviously one of the basic marketing ideas is to increase sales due to pure convenience.
Even though the Bottoms Up system also significantly reduces the 10 percent to 20 percent waste associated with conventional taps, it's not a feasible option for the bar-restaurant industry, according to Dave Rank, owner of the Starters bars in the Bethlehem area.
"You are going to save a hell of a lot of waste on beer," Rank said. "But it doesn't work in our business because we don't serve one type of beer."
Furthermore, his businesses aren't trying to serve thousands of people at a time, like stadiums, or have their customers drink more rapidly or frequently. So the extra speed is not a necessity.
Said Rank: "I don't want people drinking 20 beers in here."
Neither, obviously, do the servers at Comcast-Spectacor, who have been trained to identify and reject problem customers.
Our staff is fully trained with alcohol awareness programs," Richman said. "We monitor it closely. Our staff is very well trained to identify situations."
To that end, consumers are limited to two beers per trip.
No doubt, though, faster service will mean more alcohol consumption for some individuals, which could present a problem on the roads after games.
Either way, Bottoms Up beer sales only figures to grow in popularity, especially at larger venues such as NFL stadiums.
"You might be tapping 100,000 glasses of beer in four hours at an Eagles game," Rank said. "You don't want people waiting in line 20 minutes at halftime or during timeouts waiting for a damn beer. What a lot of people do is start going from counter to counter, and by the time you get back, you missed half of what was going on."
Added Richman: "We saw a significant increase in our beer sales as a result of Bottoms Up."
He didn't provide the specific numbers. But specific numbers aren't necessary in this case.
Bottoms Up is coming to a venue near you. Book it.
27 Jan. 2011