The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
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.
Recession hangover as Romanian beer market shows no signs of frothing
Summer is a busy time for brewers, when sales usually go up by about 25 percent compared to the average of the rest of the year, Constantin Bratu, general director of the Brewers of Romania Association, told Business Review, adding that it is too early to make estimations for this year’s hot season.“One thing is for sure, this summer’s results will depend on two factors – purchasing power and the weather,” Bratu said.
A pick-up would be more than welcome given how sales have decreased in the past couple of years. The Romanian beer market shrank by 3.5 percent last year, falling to a volume of 17 million hectoliters, according to the Brewers of Romania Association. Over the past two years it has declined by 16 percent against 2008, the year when the volume of beer sales reached a peak of 20.2 million hectoliters.
About 99 percent of the beer consumed in Romania comes from local production, according to the Brewers of Romania Association. The five members of the association – Bergenbier, Heineken Romania, Romaqua Group, United Romanian Breweries Bereprod (URBB) and Ursus Breweries – invested EUR 51 million in 2010, while their contribution to the state budget through various taxes amounted to EUR 270 million, up by EUR 7 million compared with 2009, according to data from the association. 2010 also saw the closure of several factories due to harsher market conditions. Ursus, Heineken and Bergenbier each shut down one production unit last year.
Beer consumption per capita fell to 78 liters in 2010, continuing the decline that started in 2009, further evidence that the economic climate has affected consumers and their consumption habits, according to the association. In terms of packaging, drinkers’ preferences remained constant in 2010 – PET (49.3 percent), glass bottle (31.7 percent), can (16 percent) and draught (3 percent).
Shrinking personal budgets have meant that Romanian consumers have both drunk and also spent less, switching to cheaper brands. Reducing the time spent out has also impacted sales volumes. “Ask any bartender and he will tell you that two years ago the average Joe used to order three beers, and now he’s eking out a single beer for an entire day. This is pretty much what has happened – a drastic decline in consumption,” Tiberiu Mercurian, marketing director of Bergenbier SA, told Business Review.
So far, 2011 hasn’t significantly changed the trends, with the market declining by another 2 percent in the first quarter against the same period of last year, according to Bratu. “Our estimation for 2011 is from flat to a small, single-digit decrease. Consumer confidence is improving; however, the conservative shopping habits that consumers have learned during the last two years are still there and we have yet to see a return to previous behavior. On premise sales are particularly affected as people now go out less frequently to bars and restaurants,” said Grant McKenzie, marketing vice-president at Ursus Breweries.
The prospects of higher sales means that summer is that time of the year when brewers throw big money at promoting their brands. From launching new products to sponsoring music festivals and sports teams, brewers aggressively promote their products in order to boost sales.
“The summer contributes a higher percentage of annual sales volume: three hot summer months can count for about 40 percent of a brand’s sales,” Doron Zilberstein, marketing VP at URBB, told Business Review.
He added that the company’s business strategy during this period has focused on investments in marketing and increasing market presence for a better adaptation to consumer behavior.
In 2010 URBB also entered a new market segment, mineral water, by launching the Bilbor brand. “This year we will continue investments in the Bilbor plant and the exploitation of new sources in the area, investments in the distribution system and other operational investments to improve the bottling lines for beer and juice, as well as in the IT system,” added Zilberstein. The company’s campaign for the beer segment focused on the Skol, Carlsberg and Tuborg brands.
“Our latest research, conducted in June, shows that the three criteria that influence consumers' purchasing decisions when buying beer are, in order: brand preference, choosing one of the available brands but cold, and preference for a particular type of packaging,” he added. Regarding the packaging choice, no changes have occurred from previous years, the order of popularity being PET, followed by glass bottle, can and draught.
This year URBB hopes to see an increase both in volume and sales compared to 2010. “In the first half of this year our company recorded positive results. These are however interim results – sales in the summer months will influence our turnover expectations this year,” the VP concluded.
“In the first half, the market continued to decline, but at a much slower pace than last year. We expect that 2011 will end with a slight decrease from last year, the main reason being the low incomes,” said Mercurian.
Last year the company chose to invest more in its Bergenbier brand and resumed communication for the Beck's and Noroc beers. “We started the year with a brand re-launch for Noroc, we continued with the Man’s Day campaign and summer brought the launch of three new products: Bergenbier Nefiltrata din Grau, Bergenbier Fresh and Staropramen,” added Mercurian. Without disclosing the actual promotion budget for 2011, Mercurian said Bergenbier had “considerably” increased this year’s budget.
At Ursus Breweries the marketing budget for this year is similar to figure for last year, said McKenzie. “In fact it has remained stable through the ‘crisis years’. The costs of marketing have reduced over this period so we now get more for our money,” he added. This summer the company focused on campaigns for the Ursus, Timisoreana, Redd’s, Peroni and Grolsch brands. “Beer market sales in July and August can be close to double the sales in January and February,” he added.
2 Aug. 2011