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4-2017

Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

US. Heineken makes room for Dos Equis

The producer of Heineken beer is only too happy to make room on U.S. store shelves for an upstart Mexican brand.

Heineken NV's flagship beer has lost U.S. market share to the likes of Belgium's Stella Artois over the past five years, according to Euromonitor International data. Now it's getting a boost in its fight against the competition with its fast-growing Mexican beer brand, Dos Equis, which Heineken acquired in 2010.

Dos Equis is "our shining star" in the U.S., John Nicolson, the head of the company's Americas unit, said in an interview.

Heineken, the ubiquitous Dutch beer sold in the U.S. since 1933, has been attempting to regain lost ground with a new global marketing campaign, and by pushing its brand more aggressively in bars and restaurants.

The Americas, including the U.S. and Brazil, is Heineken's second-biggest market after Western Europe, accounting for 23 percent of the brewer's $10.9 billion first-half sales.

Dos Equis is on a tear. Sales of the brand, named for the two Xs on its label, soared 17 percent in the quarter through October, compared with Heineken's 1 percent sales decline and industrywide declines of about 2 percent, according to research by Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling.

At the core of Dos Equis's success is a highly effective marketing push, Nicolson said, including its "Most Interesting Man in the World" ad campaign, featuring the tales of one worldly man's experiences — and the catchphrase "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis."

27 Dec. 2011

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