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.
Beer market of Vietnam: “Young tiger”Vietnam is one of the few big beer markets that continue to grow steadily. The beer popularity results from its low price, street consumption culture, and social motives. The outlooks of beer market as well as the Vietnamese economy inspire optimism, though the country is heavily dependent on export of goods. The state regulation can be called liberal, but the key risk for brewers is harbored in intensive rising of excise. Within TOP-4 there are two leaders, Sabeco and Heineken that grow at the fastest rates. The first company effectively employs its capacities, the second one focuses on marketing technologies. Almost 80% of the market belongs to century-old brands, yet the middle class and the youth are shifting their interest toward international premium that is growing taking share from the mainstream.
Vietnam. 5 O’Clock Somewhere: Another Beer Found, Another Day Lost
"Are you looking for something lighter or darker?" asks a twenty-something Vietnamese man from behind the bar. His name is "H" (like the letter, he tells me) and by the looks of him, H enjoys his beer. He doesn't have the traditional slender frame of his countrymen, but carries a slight paunch that's become increasingly prevalent as Western indulgences, such as craft beer, make their way into Vietnam.
H pours a few samples before I settle on one Saigon Saison from the Pasteur Street Brewing Company on the other side of town. After months of sipping nothing but watery lagers, it's a revelation, with tastes of black pepper and lemongrass that sound more like the ingredients of a local dish than an ale. This beer pulls it off beautifully though, and at 7.2 percent ABV it makes the perfect antidote for the palpable heat that blankets Saigon year round. Just like that, the rest of my afternoon has been decided; I'll be spending the foreseeable future perched on a barstool here at Bia Craft.
Saigon has long been a beer town. You can sit on the corner in tiny, plastic chairs and drink your fill without putting a dent in your wallet. But while the beer options did the trick, they didn't impress. That's all changed over the past couple of years, as a movement of microbreweries has taken hold across the city, spurred by expats, but fueled by both locals and westerners. Since it's opening in August, Bia Craft is the latest on the scene, with 10 hoppy offerings on tap and plenty more bottled imports from around the world.
"Do you like Firestone IPA?" H asks. Hell yes, I like Firestone IPA. "This is the only place in Vietnam you'll find it," he beams. Like any good bartender, H is eager to talk about the product and explains that there's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to introducing the Vietnamese to these "bitter beers." Understandably, their transition from cheap, light lager to an artisan ale doesn't happen over night, which is why he typically starts them with something on the lighter side, like Bia Craft's homebrewed Lun Ma Lao (Short But Arrogant) Blonde Ale. It's also pricier than what the locals are used to, as the longtime go-to lager, Bia Saigon, costs around 10,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND) or less, not even 50 cents. A pint at Bia Craft can run up to VND 90,000. Of course, I'm more than happy to pay it, and as craft breweries continue to pop up around the city, it appears that so, too, are the Vietnamese.
The next day, I decide I better check out the Pasteur Street Brewing Company's headquarters, just to see how it stacks up. As it turns out, they recently released a Pumpkin Spice Ale for the holiday season. There's also a Jasmine IPA; that sounds interesting enough. Oh, and I have to try the Passionfruit Wheat Ale, the American bartender urges. Sounds kind of fruity, but better do what he says. Now, I've gotten pretty good at turning people down while in Vietnam; earlier in the day I flat-out rejected an adorable, pig-tailed little girl selling packs of chewing gum for the equivalent of 10 cents (and feel pretty shitty thinking about it while drinking $4 beers). But the point is, I oblige this overzealous bartender simply because the beer is that good.
Before I know it, the windows are dark, the floor is being mopped and another day is lost. Lucky for me, this innovative brewery is also responsible for introducing growlers to Saigon. Time to post up in a tiny, plastic chair on the corner.
2 Feb. 2016