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.
Carlsberg creates fizz
The distinctive green bottles bearing the Carlsberg and Tuborg labels are beginning to catch the attention of the Indian consumer. Danish beer major Carlsberg has silently emerged the number three player in India in just over four years.
Carlsberg today has an all-India market share of about six per cent (excluding Tamil Nadu, where it has no presence) in comparison to leader UB’s over 50 per cent and number two player SABMiller’s 23 per cent.
While it still has miles to go before it can take on the two big boys in beer — Carlsberg has been growing fast in the last few years. On an average, the firm has added some two per cent share per annum in the last three years, according to Carlsberg India’s Managing Director Soren Lauridson. “Our outlook for the long-term is good,” he says.
For a company that began operations in 2007 with the acquisition of a small brewery in Himachal Pradesh, Carlsberg’s India strategy has been predicated on green field projects. Its second, third, fourth and fifth breweries were set up in places including Alwar in Rajasthan, Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Kolkata in West Bengal and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
Lauridson declines to indicate the investment the Danish major has made so far in the country. But he does say the firm is here for the long haul. “Growth in Europe and the US is stagnating. The Asian beer market including India offers a platform for growth,” he says.
The Danish major began its run four years ago in the north grabbing share from local rivals such as Mount Shivalik, maker of Thunderbolt, and Diwan, which produces Godfather beer. Today these players rank behind Carlsberg at four per cent and three per cent shares respectively. Lauridson admits its strategy of coming in from the north then moving to the central, eastern and western parts of the country has helped it cover significant ground. “But the south will not be as easy,” he says. That is because key players UB and SAB are strongly entrenched there.
The Karnataka and Andhra markets are also large beer markets. Andhra especially contributes about 13-14 per cent to industry sales, while Karnataka contributes about 7-8 per cent and Tamil Nadu about 17-18 per cent. Kerala is relatively smaller contributing about four per cent to industry sales, say market experts.
With Carlsberg ruling out a presence in Tamil Nadu for now at least, the pressure then to find its feet in Karnataka and Andhra becomes important, say market experts. It entered Kerala last year, where it has a share of about eight per cent.
The firm is counting on its line-up of products to take it through in Andhra and Karnataka. The Danish major has three strong beers in its portfolio in a market that is ruled by the strong beer segment. Eighty per cent of the beer market in India comprises the strong segment, while 20 per cent is mild. Abroad it is the other way round, with the mild beer segment making up the bulk of the market there.
Unlike most other international majors, Carlsberg has been quick to realise this addressing the strong beer segment with its discount brand Palone 8 since 2007. It launched Tuborg Strong last year and has now come out with Carlsberg Elephant, each of them at a different price point. Palone 8 is priced between Rs 60-80 for a quart, while Tuborg Strong is priced between Rs 70-90 and Carlsberg Elephant between Rs 100-125 for a quart.
While the beer market in India from April 2011 to now has declined thanks to an unusually mild and wet summer as well as steep price hikes of about 20-22 per cent due to changes in excise and value-added tax (VAT) in different states, the case wasn’t so till last year. The beer market, which closed the 2010-11 financial year at 230 million cases, grew at a clip of about 15-20 per cent per annum in the last seven years.
Most beer majors expect a sales uptick in the third quarter this fiscal especially around the months of November and December going right up to the end of the fourth quarter.
For Carlsberg too, the period will be crucial as it looks to find a foothold in markets such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which it has stepped into this year.
20 Oct. 2011