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.
SABMiller Loses to Kingfisher in Battle Over India’s Beer Market: Retail
The global brewers are forming partnerships, introducing new products and marketing milder, pricier brews to young Indians. They have yet to overcome a maze of regulations and United Breweries Ltd. (UBBL), owner of top local brand Kingfisher, in a market expected by Euromonitor International to almost double to $9 billion by 2016.
United Breweries so far has beaten back the challenges. It started selling Heineken in India over the past seven months to offer more options against foreign rivals. Changing state regulations have already eaten into London-based SABMiller’s market share and all of the brewers still face some Indian taboos on alcohol consumption.
“Everyone fantasizes: Imagine if you had a billion Indian people drinking 50 liters of beer per capita,” said Trevor Stirling, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in London. “It’s going to be many decades, if ever, before Indian per capita consumption reaches 50 liters.”
Emerging markets such as India are important to global brewers as growth slows in the developed world and brands like Budweiser fight competition from craft beers in the U.S.
At the same time, the experiences of foreign brewers show how regulations or entrenched competitors are holding back many of the world’s largest companies in the second most populous nation. Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) faced a setback in December when the government reversed a decision to allow their entry into a market dominated by local mom-and-pop stores.
India also bans advertising of alcoholic drinks, which can make it harder for brewers to introduce consumers to new names.
Supplying British Troops
United Breweries traces its roots to British soldiers’ love for beer. In 1915, a Scotsman named Thomas Leishman bought five breweries in southern India to form United Breweries. The company transported its beer in barrels on bullock carts, serving British troops. Vittal Mallya, father of present chairman Vijay Mallya, bought United Breweries in 1947, and snapped up distillers and brewers on the cheap when the Indian government briefly threatened prohibition in the 1970s.
The sale and distribution of alcohol in India is controlled by state governments, which impose taxes on imports and exports, forcing companies to open distilleries and breweries in each state where they want to sell their products cost-effectively.
“The biggest challenge is, in India, every state has their own system in terms of taxation, labor requirement,” said Joergen Buhl Rasmussen, chief executive officer of Copenhagen- based Carlsberg, which entered the country in 2007. “That does make India not very efficient to operate.”
United Breweries benefits from 28 breweries spread across the country’s 28 states. That tops the 13 that SABMiller uses and Carlsberg’s five.
United Breweries, based in Bangalore, increased its beer market share to 57 percent in 2011 from 43 percent in 2006, according to London-based Euromonitor. In the same period, SABMiller’s share dropped to 24 percent from 37 percent.
The success of the brewing business contrasts with United Breweries parent UB Group’s money-losing Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (KAIR) The airline, which has reported more than 10 straight quarterly losses, is seeking new funds after grounding planes and cutting flights because of a cash shortage.
Kingfisher has held its own in the beer market helped by the introduction of new products, including milder, higher- priced varieties like Kingfisher Ultra.
“When we were going to launch Kingfisher Ultra two years ago, we used to wonder who would buy a 100-rupee ($2) beer,” Samar Singh Sheikhawat, vice president of marketing at United Breweries, said in an interview in August when the company introduced Heineken in India. “But today, Kingfisher or the mainstream beers are close to 90 or 95 rupees. What was considered a barrier for beer doesn’t exist anymore.”
SABMiller also added brands, such as Miller High Life, to reach young, urban consumers. Its market share was still hurt by regulatory disputes in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and excise duty increases in other states, the company said in its 2010 annual report.
“The single greatest challenge that any brewer faces is regulation,” Derek Hugh Jones, marketing director of SABMiller India, said in an e-mail. “The movement of beer across state borders is inefficient, eliminating any scale efficiency.”
Still, consumers’ greater affluence and increasing social acceptance of beer will “ensure sustained growth” for the industry in India, he said.
Per capita consumption of beer in India at 1.6 liters is a fraction of 35.5 in China, 75.6 in the U.S. and 105.6 in Germany, based on Euromonitor estimates.
“You have a reasonably high proportion of a Muslim population who won’t drink alcohol,” said Stirling. “Also, if you’re a devout Hindu, you won’t drink alcohol.”
Social norms are changing and beer consumption picking up as India’s young adults have more money to spend and travel around the world. The economy has grown at an average annual pace of more than 8 percent for the last four years. Euromonitor estimates India’s beer market will grow to 447.9 billion rupees ($9 billion) from 257 billion rupees in 2011.
Carlsberg’s Rasmussen said the potential to raise per capita purchases makes the country “a very attractive market to be in over time.”
Carlsberg, which entered India in 2007, had a 4.4 percent share in 2011. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Leuven, Belgium-based company that sells its Budweiser beer, held 1.1 percent.
One factor in the new brew battles: the strength of the beer. Indian drinkers are largely still partial to stronger beers like Kingfisher Strong, with an alcohol content that can go as high as 8 percent.
As much as 80 percent of the beer sold in India’s beer industry is “strong,” with alcohol content of six to eight percent, by Sheikhawat’s estimate.
United Breweries’ stable of brands includes Kingfisher Strong and Draught as well as milder variants such as Ultra. Carlsberg has introduced stronger brews, including Carlsberg Elephant and Tuborg Strong.
Microbreweries are springing up in India as well. The New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon has several. One of the largest, called Rockman’s Beer Island, has raised prices as many as four times since starting in 2009 and still has customers flying to its brewery, on the top floor of an upscale mall, from other cities.
7 Mar. 2012