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.
Craft beer? Good things brewing in Montana
Montana’s brewers are helping lead the way. Now with over 35 breweries making fine handcraft beer, in 2011 the Montana craft beer industry represented almost $50 million in economic output, had an employment impact of over 430 Montanans, represented almost $12 million in compensation, and $1.5 million in state tax revenues. Montana has more breweries per capita than all states but Vermont, producing over 100,000 barrels of beer per year.
This is a movement — and one that is growing quite rapidly. In 2011, craft beer grew nationally 13 percent by volume and 15 percent by dollars, with retail dollar value estimated at $8.7 billion. Montana’s craft beer industry grew 18 percent by volume, 39 percent in employment (full and part time), 23 percent in compensation paid, and 20 percent in sales. By mid-2012, the growth has continued and dollar sales for craft brewers nationally were up 14 percent, while volume of craft brewed beer sold hopped 12 percent.
Yet even as craft grows, those who dominate the market are large international conglomerates. A-B InBev, headquartered in Belgium, and SABMiller, headquartered in London, now control 75 percent of the U.S. beer market between them. Heineken and Modelo (Corona) and other imports are 14 percent, and A-B InBev has a deal in place which, if approved by the Department of Justice, would allow them to buy the half of Modelo it doesn’t currently own.
While America’s small and independent craft brewers have reached a record 6 percent market share, they lack the economies of scale and the huge marketing resources of the big brewers. They’ve relied on grassroots efforts, an appreciation for local, and authentic and delicious products to attract their consumer base.
Beer enthusiasts have responded by embracing these breweries and their unique, innovative and flavorful beers, brewed locally by neighbors and friends who are very visibly involved in their communities. They have chosen to support small-business entrepreneurs, who are the embodiment of the American dream. These entrepreneurs are the underdogs bent on reviving a sense of independent craftsmanship.
Noting the expansion of the craft brewers’ niche and also that many beer drinkers are turning away from the mass-produced light lagers that they are historically known for, the large brewers started producing their own craftlike beers. However, they don’t label these faux-craft beers as products of A-B InBev and MillerCoors. So if you are drinking a Blue Moon Belgian Wheat Beer, you are not told it is a SABMiller product. If you crack open a Shock Top, you are not told this brand is 100 percent owned by A-B InBev.
Today, there are craft breweries in just about every city in the country, and in Montana there now are breweries located in 22 communities, including small towns such as Wibaux (Beaver Creek Brewing), Wolf Point (Missouri Breaks Brewing), and Phillipsburg (Phillipsburg Brewing).
The large brewers employ 25,000 people in their stateside brewing facilities but across the entire U.S., small and independent craft brewers employ more than 103,500 Americans in local, Main Street jobs!
Montanans are known to enjoy their beer, and if you think craft breweries are a good force in America, take the time to familiarize yourself with who is brewing the beer you are drinking.
Is it truly from a brewer that is small and independent? Or is it a product of a large international brewer, capitalizing on the unprecedented growth of the sector to produce a faux-craft beer?
It makes a difference. By supporting small and independent craft brewers across Montana, and the country, we are giving them a chance to compete and thrive.
Charlie Papazian is the president and Bob Pease is the chief operating officer of the Brewers Association, the trade association representing America’s small, independent brewers. Tony Herbert is the executive director of the Montana Brewers Association.
21 Jan. 2013