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.
SMB Marketers Need to Start Thinking Like Craft Breweries
In 2011, craft brewing saw growth of 13% by volume while overall U.S. beer sales were down an estimated 1.3% by volume. Not bad for a small business product!
This trend toward smaller craft breweries is part of a much larger shift in consumer tastes away from large corporations and impersonal products. Consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies they feel like they know — companies with a personality and a story.
This trend should be encouraging for small businesses. The SMB market is the alternative to the faceless corporations and has the ability to produce marketing that is genuine and has real personality; marketing consumers are craving. However, SMBs aren’t spending their time fighting off large corporations pretending to be small businesses. Many are spending most of their time mimicking and pretending to be a big business.
Seriously? Why are we so focused on being Bud Light when we are already something so much better? We are better than Bud Light!
Why are we so focused on being Bud Light when we are already something so much better?
SMB marketers are in a position to capitalize on the characteristics of their businesses that may have once been viewed as flaws. It’s time to step up and own these elements of SMBs and deliver marketing that consumers actually want.
Consumer tastes are changing quickly. Outbound marketing strategies are becoming a thing of the past as consumers become more and more desensitized to the messages pushed on them each day. Inbound marketing has become the new dominant strategy, with earned media and content strategies successfully building relationships and earning consumer trust. Large businesses are spending billions to make inbound work for them, but SMBs already have a huge head start.
SMBs don’t need to spend big to create personalities and a story for their brands the way big business does. The story is already there, SMBs just need to tell it! Share your struggles and success with your audience. Share your mission and what drives you. This honesty and authenticity will help to make your brand more trustworthy, and trust is the foundation of every relationship.
Big business marketing is pretty boring. They are working under tight guidelines and regulations. This is especially true when it comes to beer. How many ads can you really target at tailgaters? SMBs lack the budget for national ad spots and traditional media buys. This forces marketers to think outside the box.
SMBs are ideally set up to pursue new, exciting marketing ideas and tactics. You should be pushing the traditional boundaries, taking risks, and setting the trends for larger brands to follow. Before your next campaign, think about using a new channel or pursuing a new strategy that will differentiate you from the competition. The risks are lower and the rewards greater. Think bigger!
Anyone that has seen a local brewery grow into a successful business probably feels a connection to that brand. Small businesses have a story and a connection to their neighborhoods, cities, and states. When marketed well, consumers feel as if they know their community’s small businesses and share a connection.
This is a tremendous advantage SMBs have over their competition. Don’t be afraid to show your people and personality. Give your audience a look behind the scenes and showcase the people behind your brand. Take advantage of opportunities to participate in local events and causes. Although the short term gain of these events is limited, the long term relationships and connections are a significant advantage over larger companies.
The craft brewing movement is bravely breaking from the norm set by traditional larger breweries, and consumers have responded with overwhelming support. Craft breweries are standing up to big business and trying to be something different, something better. If their bold message, strong values, and devout followings are not enough to inspire your marketing, then their snowballing financial success should definitely get your attention!
Do you have any additional thoughts on craft brewing or SMB marketing? What’s your favorite craft brew? Let us know in the comments below!
11 Dec. 2012