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.
UK. Why is alcohol consumption falling?
It's difficult to open a newspaper without reading about the alcohol problems that exist in the UK.
Recent headlines include "Binge drinking costs NHS billions", "Hospitals reel as drink cases soar" and "Alcohol abuse to cost NHS an extra billion"
And this week, figures from Alcohol Concern suggest the number of people being treated in hospital for alcohol misuse has more than doubled in eight years.
But behind these stories is an unexpected truth - Britons have been drinking less and less every year since 2002.
Men and women of all ages are slowly curbing their excesses and drinking in moderation, according to the annual survey from the Office for National Statistics, which covers England, Scotland and Wales.
It suggests that heavy drinking is falling, abstinence is rising, and young people are leading the drive towards healthier drinking.
The decrease among some groups even pre-dates 2002, with men aged 16-24 drinking 26 units a week on average in 1999 and just 15 units a week in 2009, according to the ONS figures.
"There is a received wisdom that we must be drinking more," says Neil Williams of the British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA). Its own figures, which are based on sales and not self-reporting, suggest alcohol sales peaked in 2004 and have fallen by 13% since then.
"In reality, we see a fairly deep-rooted decline in alcohol consumption which dates back to 2004. That's not something you see acknowledged in the media."
It's frustrating that the true story is not getting out there, says David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group, an association of drinks producers in the UK.
"With newspapers, the headline is always the same: 'Shock rise in binge drinking'. But you look at the figures, and you see alcohol sales are declining.
"It's a myth that we need to make alcohol more expensive [to stop people drinking]. These trends are being reversed on their own."
Historically, sales of booze rose and fell with the economy. Recessions in the early 80s and 90s were coupled with a slump in drinking. And the current downturn is having a similar effect. From 2008-2009, alcohol consumption in the UK fell by 6%.
But that decline started long before the credit crunch kicked in - 2004 according to the BBPA and 2002 by the ONS figures. So what happened?
"To a certain extent it's a mystery," says Mr Poley. "There may be multiple reasons. But around that time, the UK did see the launch of some major alcohol health warning campaigns."
In 2004 the Drinkaware logo started appearing on beer advertisements. The labelling of drinks bottles improved to make it clear how many units of alcohol they contain. And the health dangers of heavy drinking were increasingly highlighted by the media.
References to "binge drinking" shot up in 2004, according to Dr James Nicholls of Bath Spa University, who researches the social history of alcohol.
"The media picked up on it around the time that the 2003 Licensing Act was being introduced - when all the talk was of '24 hour drinking'. And that's when the whole 'Binge Britain' thing kicked off," he says.
The Daily Mail ran a memorable campaign, featuring images of young women slumped on pavements and park benches. News stories were peppered with health warnings from groups like Alcohol Concern, Drinkaware and the Royal College of Physicians.
"They were very successful at making the health impacts of alcohol a news story," says Mr Nicholls.
The negative publicity not only led people to moderate their behaviour, it also created a new kind of social stigma around being drunk. The ONS survey notes that people may now be "less inclined to admit to how much they have been drinking".
Boozing was no longer such a badge of honour. And attitudes in the workplace began to change too, says Graham Page, an alcohol industry analyst.
"These days most employers are anti-drink. The six o'clock swill has gone in most places, apart from London," he says.
Meanwhile, consumer forces were also at work to change our drinking habits throughout the last decade. Pubs were closing down, duty on beer was rising, and sales of cheap supermarket wine were rocketing.
The caricature of a "drinker" has slowly morphed - from lager louts downing pints to girls on the sofa, sipping Pinot Grigio.
It's hard to quantify how each of these micro-trends in pricing has influenced overall alcohol consumption, says Mr Page, but their net effect is that the price of a drink as a percentage of spending money is cheaper than ever before.
So alcohol is cheaper, but we are drinking less of it - a highly improbable cocktail.
But a look at the longer term picture shows that drinking has been rising steadily since 1947, and levels are still some way above those in the early 1990s.
So is the latest fall a victory for drink awareness campaigning?
Such celebrations would be premature, says Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern.
"There are still 10 million people drinking above the government's recommended level. And 1.6 million dependent drinkers. These are the frequent flyers into hospital, and they are not changing their drinking habits," he says.
"It is very likely that alcohol consumption will rise again once the economy picks up. So government alcohol policy should ensure alcohol becomes less affordable permanently, not just in an economic downturn."
The health warnings are here to stay - and rightly so, as hospital admissions from alcohol continue to rise.
It will be a long time before any recent moves towards healthier drinking will be felt in NHS wards.
15 Feb. 2011