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.
Why The Beer In South Korea Is Even Worse Than North Korean Beer
THEIR cuisine is one of the world's most exciting. South Korean diners would not tolerate bland kimchi (cabbage pickled in garlic and chili) or sannakji (fresh chopped octopus, still wriggling on the plate). So why do they swill boring beer?
Local brews such as Cass and Hite go down easily enough (which is not always true of those writhing tentacles with their little suction cups). Yet they leave little impression on the palate.
Some South Korean beers skimp on barley malt, using the likes of rice in its place. Others are full of corn. And despite the recent creation of Hite Dry Finish--a step in the right direction--brewing remains just about the only useful activity at which North Korea beats the South. The North's Taedonggang Beer, made with equipment imported from Britain, tastes surprisingly good.
The problem for South Korean boozers is that their national market is a cramped duopoly. Hite-Jinro and Oriental Brewery (OB) have nearly 100% of it. Their beers are hard to tell apart; their prices, even harder. At five out of five shops visited by The Economist, their main brands all cost precisely 1,850 won ($1.70) per 330ml can.
Until 2011, regulations required all brewers to have enough capacity to brew well over 1m liters at a time. This in effect kept all but Hite and OB from bringing foamy goodness to the masses. Smaller producers were allowed to sell their beer only on their own premises.
Today, anyone with the capacity to produce 120,000 litres can apply for a wholesale license. This is still a lot, but there are short cuts. One brewer says the loose wording of the law means some have bought gigantic but shoddy old vats to make up the difference, and simply left them unused.
However, only a handful of small brewers have risen to the challenge. One of them, Craftworks Brewing Company, is owned by a Canadian, Dan Vroon. Mr Vroon's pub in Seoul is packed every night. But several hurdles still make it hard for him to sell his pilsners, stouts and pale ales more widely, he says.
Brewers are taxed heavily if they deliver their own beer. Craftworks' unpasteurized brews must be kept chilled from the vat to the tap, which creates a problem. Cold distribution is a tiny, pricey niche. This is because the big boys don't use it: their beers have their tasty, bureaucrat-bothering bacteria removed at the brewery. They can thus be delivered warm and then chilled in the pub.
Punitive tariffs prevent brewing experimentation. The Korean taxman treats malt, hops and yeast as beer ingredients, which are subject to low import duties. Anything else you might put in the brew is deemed an agricultural import, and thus a threat to the nation's farmers. "Speciality grains like oats aren't on the approved list, so we must pay more than 500% if we want to use them," says Park Chul, another frustrated brewer.
Those who do not qualify for a wholesale licence have it even worse. Though they sell only through their own pubs, government inspectors place meters on their vats. These can become contaminated, causing costly stoppages. "It's enough to drive you to drink," sighs Mr Vroon.
5 Dec. 2012