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4-2017

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.

Myanmar. Tuborg turnaround for Carlsber

Carlsberg has caved to complaints from the family of a famous Mandalay singer, who say the Danish brewer used the title of one of his hits as the name for Tuborg Beer in Myanmar.

“In light of the claims of the relatives of the late Sayar Myoma Nyein and the general debate about the use of "တူးပို့" in the market of Tuborg Beer we will discontinue the use of this spelling,” the brewer said in a statement dated January 19.

The firm chose the name, which is pronounced Tu Po, when it launched sales of locally-brewed Tuborg early last year. But the Myanmar term is also the name of a well-known song by famous composer Sayar Myoma Nyein, who died in 1955.

The song is played regularly during mass street celebrations of the Thingyan water festival, an occasion when beer sales soar.

U Shun Myaing, Sayar Myoma Nyein’s son, told The Myanmar Times that Carlsberg had met with him to request permission to use the term, but he refused.

Carlsberg could not be reached for comment.

“I denied [permission] but they used [it anyway],” he said yesterday. The firm had used a term with “beautiful” and “cultural” meaning as the name of a beer, U Shun Myaing said.

The family told a news conference on January 15 that they had intended to take Carlsberg to court over its use of the word. They claimed that its use insulted the cultural festival of Thingyan.

The Myanmar Times understands that the firm was confident such a suit would not have been successful under Myanmar law.

Nevertheless the dispute – widely discussed on social media where the family received public expressions of support – illustrates how giant multi-nationals have to tread carefully in a country renowned for its religious and cultural sensitivities, regardless of the strength of trademark and copyright laws.

U Shun Myaing told The Myanmar Times that the family would no longer pursue a lawsuit. The family accepted the change, but felt that Carlsberg should have addressed a response to them, rather than issuing a press release.

The brewer is taking “immediate steps to implement the necessary modifications” and hopes to have these made by Thingyan, the press release said.

Carlsberg will use the original Danish brand name Tuborg to market the beer in Myanmar.

“We respect Myanmar sentiment and we remain committed to fair and transparent business practices in the Myanmar market,” the company said.

21 Jan. 2016

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