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.
British businessman finds China welcoming market for agri-food education, beer
The local pub, The Plough at Cadsden, a longtime favorite of Cameron’s, is now a destination for hundreds of Chinese tourists.
People back home also demanded to taste the beer Xi seemed to be enjoying. Greene King IPA, the beer savored by the two world leaders, has seen a rise in Chinese exports of 1,600 percent, and an 8.5 percent uptick in share value in December – the highest in a decade.
In Beijing, British businessman Peter Bloxham mused at how the seemingly innocuous event affected his business. Bloxham’s company PFB Trading imports Greene King IPA and other British beer into China. After the Buckinghamshire toast, orders started pouring in from around the country: hotels, restaurants and distributors all wanted the IPA. The phone didn’t stop ringing for two days.
“We’d become multimillionaires if it went on like this because it’s just crazy. Absolutely crazy,” Bloxham said from his office across the street from the Beijing Workers’ Stadium.
Bloxham, who first came to China in 1994 and has since decided to make it his permanent home, sees the country as a land of opportunity. He’s found a welcoming market for both his businesses, which are related to agri-food education and British food imports.
Twenty-two years ago, the Chinese government financed an environmental project to improve water quality on the Beijing plain. They brought in specialists from Britain. Bloxham, who was the head of engineering at Harper Adams University, an agri-food school in Shropshire, came to Beijing for numerous short trips over the next four years.
Toward the end of the project, he liked it so much in China that he wanted to stay. He moved to Beijing in 2000 to set up joint degree programs in food quality retail and international business at Beijing University of Agriculture. Today, students who enroll in these programs study for three years in Beijing and for one year at Harper Adams. About 80 Chinese students live on the UK campus every year.
At first, Bloxham lived on the Beijing University of Agriculture campus. He remembers the rooms had no heating and that selling agri-food education in China was tough.
“People associated agri-food with peasants’ work. It was difficult to recruit students,” Bloxham said.
But the programs gradually grew, along with the agri-food industry in China. Bloxham has also helped set up partnerships with China Agricultural University, Dalian Polytechnic University in Liaoning province and Huazhong Agricultural University in Hubei province.
In 2004, he set up his own consultancy company, PFB Associates, and later the import firm PFB Trading. He imports British beers, ciders and cheese.
In the mid-2000s, like now, the Chinese beer market was dominated by local light lager brands such as Yanjing, Snow and Tsingtao. The imports were mostly German beers. The import firm Vandergeeten had started selling premium European beers in China, such as Hoegaarden, Leffe and Boddingtons. In 2008, Shanghai-based DXCEL International started bringing in craft beers from American breweries such as Rogue and North Coast Brewing.
But the prices were high and sales were difficult, said Roy Locke, product supervisor at DXCEL International. There wasn’t a Chinese term to describe craft beer, and the sales were highly dependent on expats.
The market has evolved since, but according to industry experts, craft beers still make up less than 1 percent of the Chinese beer market, estimated at 486 billion yuan in 2014.
Bloxham too struggled with selling the British beer on the Chinese market. Beside Greene King IPA, he imports other brands such as Old Speckled Hen, Belhaven and Abbot Ale, as well as ciders and ginger beer.
But Xi’s drinking of IPA has given a boost to his business. In December he was waiting for three shipments totaling 75,000 bottles of Greene King IPA to reach the port of Tianjin, up from about 6,000 bottles of beer and cider that Bloxham used to import monthly.
“I think after Spring Festival we’ll get back to normality, but our sales will go up by then,” Bloxham said.
The Britishman has decided a while ago he wants to make China his permanent home. To that end, he’s sold his properties in the UK. He says he’s always felt welcome in China, even though he sometimes experiences annoyances, which he’s learnt to accept.
“I’ve never felt anything that made me feel I want to get away from here,” he said. “It’s a land of opportunity, but you have to go with the flow; it’s not worth fighting it.”
3 Feb. 2016