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.
US. Wisconsin craft brewers fight possible law changes for beer brewing industry
A group of craft brewers say a proposal being supported by MillerCoors, the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Grocers Association and others would limit smaller brewers' ability to expand and could limit them from getting beer to consumers in the future.
"This is all about money and restricting competition. This isn't idle child's play," said Jeff Hamilton, president of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Sprecher Brewing Co. in Milwaukee.
Wisconsin has three tiers, like many other states, for alcohol distribution: a brewer, a wholesaler that distributes the beer and a retailer that sells it. The system was put in place at the end of Prohibition and used by brewers that made Milwaukee famous: Miller, Blatz, Schlitz and Pabst. (They've since moved all or most of their facilities out of the state.)
The proposal was inserted into the proposed state budget by the Legislature's budget committee. It would combine the brewer's permit and wholesale and retail licenses given out by municipalities into a single permit under state control. It would effectively ban brewers from purchasing wholesale distributors — something craft brewers say they might need in the future to avoid getting squeezed out of the market by large corporate brewers.
The proposed changes would also keep brewers from selling other brands and keep them from starting a series of breweries that sell the beer with its name.
Tim Roby, spokesman for the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, said the proposal keeps the historical three-tier system intact and keeps the likes of Anheuser Busch from buying a wholesale distributor and only selling its own beer to retailers. The St. Louis-based company won a court challenge last year over an Illinois law that barred out of state brewers from owning beer wholesalers, while exempting local craft brewers.
Roby said the change is needed so Wisconsin doesn't encounter a similar court challenge. He said brewers can still self-distribute their beer. In fact, the proposal raises the amount they can self-distribute from 50,000 barrels a year to 300,000.
"We are just going to have to agree to disagree," he said. "We believe it does protect our home-grown, family-owned brewers and it also protects our homegrown and family owned retailers."
MillerCoors has started a Facebook page, titled "Support 3-Tier Wisconsin," which notes the legislation was never about limiting rights of smaller brewers but to limit the rights of big brewers to own wholesalers in the state.
"We've long supported the three-tier system" said MillerCoors spokesman Julian Green. "We think it's good for the beer industry."
In a statement Friday, Anheuser-Busch Inc. said brewer-owned distributorships support rather than threaten beer distributors or the three-tier system.
The company said the ownership helps support wholesalers who might otherwise not have the experience or capital to enter the industry or expand their operations, like when Anheuser-Busch Inc. became minority owner of Wisconsin Distributors in Appleton and Sun Prairie in 2006. Of the approximately 530 Anheuser-Busch distributors across the country, Anheuser-Busch owns 12 and invests in another four, the company said.
"Brewer-owned distributors increase competition and provide valuable insights into middle-tier competitive and customer issues, as well as access to markets that can be difficult for independent distributors to operate in," it said.
The Wisconsin Brewers Guild, which represents about half of Wisconsin's 66 craft brewers, is talking with lawmakers, rallying members and craft beer drinkers to write and call lawmakers, hanging posters and using social media to get their word out. The Wisconsin Positive Business Alliance held a protest rally outside the Capitol last week.
Hamilton, the guild's president, said the big guys are also trying to limit growth of craft brewers. Craft brewers had 11 percent increase in sales in 2010, compared to larger brewers that had only 1 percent, according to the Brewers Association, based in Colorado.
He said in 1994 there were 82 wholesalers in Wisconsin and today there are only 42, even though the number of brands being carried by them has doubled. That means small brewers will eventually be forced to get together to regionally open wholesalers for craft breweries, he said.
If the proposal becomes law, the prices for Wisconsin craft beer will likely go up because there will be less options for brewers to get their products out, he said.
"They are probably going to be much more limited down the road on what they will be able to get for Wisconsin beer," he said.
Hamilton also said not being able to sell other brewers' beer or able to sell a branch that sells the beer, like in a franchising situation, takes away a viable business model for growth.
Deb Carey, a co-founder of New Glarus Brewing Co., called the proposal ridiculous and wondered why supporters didn't go through the regular process for law changes, with public input, rather than just getting it inserted into the budget. The government shouldn't step into contractual issues with brewers, she said.
"I think it's a free market economy and we all are business people and we can discuss our contractual issues face to face on a one-on-one basis. There's really no reason to have it done through the legislation and certainly not the state budget process," she said.
14 Jun. 2011