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Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

Anheuser-Busch to unveil new beer at Super Bowl

For the second consecutive year, Anheuser-Busch InBev will serve up a new brew to Super Bowl viewers.

The beer giant will tout its just-out Budweiser Black Crown brand during the Feb. 3 Super Bowl XLVII. The new beer is scheduled to be on sale nationwide by Jan. 21.

Last year, A-B introduced another new brand, Bud Light Platinum, to the massive audience watching the Big Game.

"The Super Bowl really is the ideal venue to launch something new," says Budweiser Vice President Rob McCarthy, noting that Super Bowl viewers, expected to surpass 110 million, are engaged with the ads as they watch the game live.

Black Crown's recipe was picked from among six limited-edition beers that were created by Budweiser brewmasters earlier this year. Based on positive consumer feedback, A-B decided to take this formula national.

The new beer, a golden amber lager, is "a little bit darker and a little bit more flavorful" than the traditional Budweiser lager, says McCarthy.

With 6% alcohol by volume, Black Crown also has more alcohol content than traditional Budweiser's 5%. And the premium brew will be about 15% more expensive, McCarthy says.

A-B hopes to cater to variety-seeking Millennials with the new beer.

"This brand will appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers, but especially to 21-to-34-year-old, trend-setting-type consumers," says McCarthy.

In the Super Bowl ad, a brewmaster salutes a group of American beer drinkers seated at a table and also toasts the Black Crown brand.

The new brand may get more than one game ad. A-B shot two 30-second commercials with the same theme, but executives still are deciding whether to air one or two Black Crown ads in the game.

New brews, such as Bud Light Platinum and Budweiser Light Lime-A-Rita, have helped A-B reverse its U.S. sales decline of the last few years, says Eric Shepard, executive editor for the newsletter Beer Market Insights.

Industry leader A-B, as well as other beer makers, fell behind as spirit makers offered consumers a wide range of new products, including vodka?s that come in different flavors, he says.

But this year, the beer industry is showing a recovery. New flavors, as well as an improving economy, helped to reverse the slide, says Shepard.

As for the Super Bowl, A-B is the game's exclusive beer advertiser and will be a top advertiser in the game. The company still is determining the total ad time it will have in the game and the final lineup of other brands that it will promote.

8 Jan. 2013

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