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Volume or niche – the beer market needs the right answers

In 2013 the world beer market is set to exceed 2 billion hectoliters for the first time ever. Beer is continuing to boom – at least if you take a global perspective. But even the regions where the beer market is stagnating or even shrinking nevertheless offer new and interesting opportunities. All these markets need the right solutions, from manufacture through to sales and marketing. The place to find those solutions is at drinktec, the "World?s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry", between September 16 and 20, 2013, in Munich.

Growth in volumes will continue to be a feature of the global beer market for
many, many years to come, according to the market researchers. The simple
reason is that worldwide per-capita consumption is still below 30 liters.
Canadean, for example, is predicting that between 2009 and 2015 the world
beer market will have grown by 2.8 percent per year on average. For Asia,
Canadean is forecasting an annual average increase of 5 percent for the
same period. These British market researchers also predict an annual rise of
5 percent for the African beer market, 3 percent for South America and
5.5 percent for the Middle East. For Eastern Europe their forecast is a rise of
only around 1.5 percnet, and, for North America, even lower, at only 0.5
percent. For Western Europe, Canadean is even predicting a small decline.
As growth hot spots, they have identified Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Angola and
India, some of which will see double-digit increases.

China soon to represent one quarter of the world beer market
The market researchers at Euromonitor come to similar conclusions. In the
period from 2011 to 2016 they are expecting the strongest expansion, with
rates of around or even higher than 10 percent in India and Iran. The fastest
growing volume markets, they predict, will be China and Brazil, both growing
at around 5 percent per year. However, the markets in the US, Russia and
Germany, they say, will probably shrink by around 0.5 to 1.5 percent per year.
This strong growth in the Asian markets, says Canadean, means that in 2015
around 40 percent of the world?s beer output will be brewed in this region. For
many years now the Asian market has been dominated by China, which
Euromonitor sees as reaching 624 million hectoliters by the end of 2015. In
other words: In just a few years time, China will be accounting for at least one
quarter of the world beer market, and it will then be at least twice as big as the
number two, the US.
Germany: Faint blossoming of interest in specialty beers
In the stagnating or shrinking traditional beer markets, such as the US and
Germany, there is, however, an interesting trend: the increase in craft beers
and specialty beers. According to GfK ConsumerScan beer demand in
German households fell by 0.2 percent in 2012. The value of beer purchases,
by contrast, rose by 0.4 percent. This shows therefore that the consumer is
basically willing to spend more on beer, a theory supported by the
development in the price classes for 0.5-liter returnable beer crates, according
to statistics gathered by GfK. The only clear increase in a year-on-year
comparison 2011/2012 was seen here in the €13 and over segment, from 13
to 16 percent. Admittedly, this is only a faint blossoming, the German market
in 2012 having in fact trended downwards. According to the German Federal
Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt – Destatis), year-on-year beer
sales fell by 1.8 percent, or 1.8 million hectoliters to 96.5 hectoliters of beer. In
2013, too, no end is in sight to this trend: In the first quarter German beer
sales dropped a further 4.3 percent as compared to the same period last year.
USA demonstrates the potential of craft brewers
For some time now the US has been demonstrating the power of specialist
beers – the "craft brewers" movement started out there and has been very
popular. According to the Brewers Association, in 2012 this segment saw
volumes increase by 15 percent and monetary value by 17 percent. In 2011
the rises were 13 and 15 percent respectively. In total the craft brewer
segment in the overall US beer market in 2012 accounted for 6.5 percent by
volume and 10.2 percent in monetary value. This success story is even more
notable when you consider the number of brewing facilities in the US: In the
1970s there were only 89 in the entire country, but now that figure is 2,403 –
with 2,347 of them being brew pubs, microbreweries or regional craft
breweries.
drinktec presents raw materials, technology and expertise for all
brewers
The world beer market – interesting for its increasing segmentation – will be
covered in full at drinktec 2013, from micro to global brewers, and right
across the spectrum from raw materials and process technology to packaging
and marketing. For example, the first day of the show in the drinktec Forum
will be dedicated to beer. "German beer – fit for the future? Risks and
chances" is the question posed by Peter Hahn from the Deutscher Brauer-
Bund. Small and medium-sized companies should make a note of the lecture
by J?rgen Nordmann from St?rtebeker Braumanufaktur, who will be speaking
about "Strategy options for medium-sized breweries in a declining beer
market".
The new Innovation Flow Lounge (IFL) in which attention focuses entirely on
marketing, is looking at the subject of beer in its program for the first day of
the show. IFL partner Krones is sending its expert Charles Schmidt to talk
about "The power of social media". And "With hops to the top" is the title of a
talk by Stephan J. Barth, Managing Director of the Barth-Haas Group.
On the second day of the show, the winners in the "European Beer Star"
competition, one of the world?s most prestigious beer awards, will be offered
for tasting. And on the Sunday before drinktec opens, the World Beer
Sommelier Championships will be held and the winner crowned in the
exhibition halls in Munich. Also at drinktec 2013 there are two more hotspots
for brewers from all over the world: The Brewers Meeting Point, held in Hall
B1 in cooperation with the Bayerischer Brauerbund. One of the attractions
here is the chance to take part in exclusive beer samplings. The other hotspot
is the Craft Brewers Lounge in Hall A5. Here, European brewers can meet up
with and talk to members of the US Brewers Association. All of which adds up
to many good "beery" reasons to visit drinktec 2013!

31 Jul. 2013

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