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.
Malaysia. Halal Beer – Is There Such A Thing?
However, ask any Muslim whether drinking non-alcoholic beverages like Bintang Zero beer (Indonesia), Barbican (UAE), Istak (Iran) and Bavaria (Netherlands) which claim to have zero per cent alcohol content, is considered haram, many are not able to give a definite answer. And what about local favourite treat, ‘tapai’ (fermented rice)? Tapai contains at least seven per cent alcohol, and some can even contain up to 10 per cent alcohol.
Alcohol and liquor are two different things. While it is true that liquor has alcohol content, not all alcoholic drinks are liquor. Alcohol in its nature is not unclean and can be used in perfumes or preservatives. Whereas, liquor is highly concentrated in alcohol which makes it highly intoxicating.
If alcohol is considered haram, what about alcohol that sometimes exists naturally in many natural and organic food items, like grapes? Not all food items with alcohol are considered haram as they are not alcoholic beverages like liquor or beer.
Many Muslims are often confused as to what extent is alcohol deemed haram in Islam, and how much percentage of alcohol is actually permitted in food or beverages. But why should Muslims be so concerned over alcohol, when none of the verses in the Quran and the hadith prohibits alcohol?
The only warning involves drinking ‘khamr’. Khamr is a word that applies to any kind of drink that causes intoxication, and based on this fact, it is clear that the restrictions are based on the nature of an intoxicant, and not its ingredients.
According to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the hadith narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawood from Abdullah ibn Umar, “Every intoxicant is khamr and every khamr is haram.”
The majority of scholars also define khamr as anything that is intoxicating, regardless consuming a little, or a lot. So, just how many types of khamr are there?
There are two types, one containing alcohol, and one without alcohol. There are many examples of khamr that contain alcohol, from various beers, and liquor such as wine, whiskey, brandy, vodka and so forth.
Whereas marijuana, morphine, opium, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and various drugs that cause intoxication or unconsciousness are examples of khamr that do not contain alcohol.
As for tapai which definitely contains alcohol, according to the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia in their seventh meet on April 11-12, 1984, if the tapai produced is not intoxicating when consumed, then it is ‘halal’(permissible).
Nevertheless, if the tapai is fermented for too long and can cause intoxication, it would be considered haram. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has also issued a fatwa that eating tapai is considered halal, and up until today, there has been no reports that the treat is intoxicating.
Based on the briefing, presentation and explanation given by experts from The Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, together with decisions made in the previous Discourse of the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia, the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia have ruled that:
1. Every wine contains alcohol. However not all alcohol are wine. Alcohol that is extracted from the winemaking process is ruled as haram and impure.
2. However, alcohol that is not produced through the winemaking process is not ruled as impure, but is prohibited from being consumed in its original form as it is a poison and can kill.
3. Light beverages processed/made not for the purpose of producing wine and containing alcohol below the level of 1% v/v are permissible to be consumed.
4. Whereas for light beverages made with the same intention and method of producing wine, regardless of whether their alcohol content is high or low or whether their alcohol content is distilled, their consumption is prohibited.
5. Food or beverages containing natural alcohol such as fruits, nuts, grains or their juices, or alcohol that incidentally forms during the production process of certain food or beverages is not considered impure and is permissible to be consumed.
6. Food or drinks with flavouring or colouring that contains alcohol for stabilisation purposes are permissible to be consumed provided that the alcohol is not produced from the winemaking process, the quantity of such alcohol in the final product is not intoxicating and the alcohol level does not exceed 0.5%.
7. Medicines and perfumes containing alcohol as a solvent agent are not impure and are permissible provided such alcohol is not extracted from the winemaking process.
Prior to these discussions, malted beverage Barbican, from the UAE, was certified halal by the Islamic Food Research Centre (IFRC) - Malaysia and Asia Region whose headquarters is in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on February 17, 2011 (Certification No IFRC/P/LA/11/0026). IFRC also issued a certificate, certifying that halal ingredients were used in Barbican and its manufacturing process did not make it alcoholic.
On July 26, 2011, National Fatwa Council chairman, Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Shukor Husin, made it clear that the Barbican malted beverage was not processed to make it alcoholic, and contains low alcohol content which is not intoxicating. He however advised the manufacturer and distributor to better label the product to not cast any doubt, especially for the Muslim consumers.
In January 2015, MUI announced a number of food and beverage products that received the halal certification. In its announcement, Bintang Zero beer, which is manufactured in Indonesia, was declared haram.
Despite manufactures previously claiming the beverage contains zero per cent alcohol, the results of a study conducted by the Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs And Cosmetics, found that there were alcoholic contents that made it haram.
The beverage manufactured by PT Multibintang Indonesia, was made to replicate the taste of beer without using the process of fermentation. However, it is found that its imitation process was a way of producing illegal liquor, subsequently influencing Muslims to indulge in something that is prohibited in their religion.
The fourth fatwa by MUI in 2003, stated “It is prohibited to consume food/beverages that give rise to taste/aroma, or animals that are prohibited”. This was a precautionary measure to prevent Muslims from indulging something prohibited, and in his presentation, the Chairman of the MUI Fatwa Commission, KH Ma'ruf Amin, stated, “if something is pointing in the direction of haram, it is the way to haram.”
Malted beverages marketed as halal beer is dubious. This misrepresentation is not in accordance with Islamic law, and only leads to negative social, and cultural implications. So, are we to expect halal pork or halal gambling in future? This would only cause more confusion and make way for more slanders against Islam. In fact, malted beverages such as Barbican, Istak and Bavaria have casted doubts as its packaging does resemble actual beer bottles.
Isn’t it unfair to promote a product with beer in the name, no matter if its non-alcoholic? And what more when it is facilitated by Muslims? In a time where too many slanders have been made against Islam, Muslims should address any misunderstandings, instead of casting more doubt.
21 Dec. 2015