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.
Having a Beer With a Smartphone
Predictably, the ever-expanding roster of oatmeal stouts and vanilla porters has been accompanied by the creation of dozens of beer-related apps. These include local guides to the best pints, inane games, beery social networks and recommendation engines that determine which beers you might like based on what you have enjoyed in the past.
An app released this month, Craft Beer New York, gives local connoisseurs an excellent guide to the city’s bars, breweries and bottle shops ($1.99 for iPhones and other iOS devices; you must be 17 years old to download this and the other Apple beer apps). Its developer, Blue Crow Media, also makes attractive apps focused on coffee. The content for this app comes from Joshua M. Bernstein, a beer writer living in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and the author of Brewed Awakening, a book about the craft beer movement.
The app rates 122 bars, 34 shops and 22 breweries. I first tested it out in Astoria, Queens, where I live, and it seemed to get things right without just picking the most obvious places to drink. There were short entries on half a dozen establishments, including specific recommendations on which beers to order.
It is worth noting that this app is different from a guide to bars. Good spots will not show up if they have pedestrian beer selections. At the same time, bars do not automatically get good ratings for having lots of choices. Mr. Bernstein acknowledges that the Beer Authority, a 70-tap bar that recently opened on a stretch of Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is “a life preserver for folks working around the Port Authority.” But the app still sticks it with a 2 out of 5 rating because of its unimaginative d?cor, high prices and a tendency to play lame music.
Mr. Bernstein updates the app with newly opened establishments, and it also has a news tab that includes bulletins on things like how to ensure that an I.P.A. is fresh, or how to help out beer-related businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. An Android version is due out in early 2013.
One of the more popular beer apps is Untappd, a location-based social-networking app for beer drinkers (free and available for Android and iOS). The app is designed to get people to share their impressions of beers, keeping track of what they liked while also guiding friends and strangers to good bars and brews. The app has an active community, but like any crowdsourced project there is a lot to sift through to find anything useful.
Another way to find new beers to try is to tell an algorithm what you drink and have it determine what else you might like. BrewGene is a nice version of this idea (free and available for Android, iOS or on the Web). It has a truly extensive database. I recently ordered a Goose Island I.P.A. from a bar, but when I went to enter it into the app found that there were five different beers with that name. I rated a few beers from the app’s top 100 list, and it began generating credible suggestions for me. The app’s ability to point me toward an establishment that would serve me these beers is lacking, however. Its “Places” function pulled in a seemingly random selection of nearby bars, bodegas and restaurants. There’s supposed to be a beer menu for each establishment, but all the ones I got were blank.
26 Nov. 2012