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.
UK: Marston’s bottled ale volumes up, but profits flat in FY
Net sales up by 6.8% to GBP113.7m
Ale volumes up 2% year-on-year
Bottled ale volumes up 18%
Marston's Beer Company has reported flat full-year profits, but an increased focus on off-trade premium bottled ales boosted volumes.
Operating profits in the 12 months to the end of September crept up by 0.6% to GBP16.4m (US$26.3m), the Wolverhampton-based brewer and pub operator said today (29 November). Sales in the period rose by 6.8% to GBP113.7m.
Overall ale volumes were up by 2% on the prior year, with bottled ale volumes rising by 18%. Premium cask ale volumes saw a 3% lift. The company said it has maintained its “market-leading position” in these two categories, increasing market share in each by around 1%.
Marston's said its strategy of having “genuinely local ales” in the UK on-trade, and a focus on premium bottled ales in the off-trade, has seen it benefit from “increasing consumer demand for regional beers” - in particular, cask ale in pubs and “high quality premium brands in the off-trade”.
Overall UK beer sales have spiralled downwards in recent years, with brewers pointing to the Government's beer duty escalator, introduced in 2008, as a major factor. Latest British Beer & Pub Association figures released last month revealed that UK beer volumes fell 5.6% year-on-year in the three months to the end of September.
Marston's full-year group profits before tax rose by 9.2% to GBP87.8m, while sales increased by 5.5% to GBP719.7m.
CEO Ralph Findlay said: “These results demonstrate resilience despite the weak economy and very poor weather during the summer. All areas of the business achieved increased revenue and profit in the year, demonstrating the continuing appeal of good pubs and beers.”
Looking ahead, Findaly said: “The economy is likely to remain weak for the foreseeable future, but we have a clear, proven strategy, which is appropriate for current market conditions, and which is achieving growth.”
The group also announced chairman David Thompson intends to step down after 35 years with the company. He will remain in the role until a successor is found.
30 Nov. 2012