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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.

Elephant beer going down well in India

Carlsberg’s old sudsy stalwart, Elephant Beer, has become a trumpeting success in India.

In 2015, sales increased by 42 percent and the Danish brewery giant is aiming to become second on the Indian market within the next three years.

United Breweries Group is the current leader on the market, followed by SABmiller which also bottles Fosters, Grolsch, Miller, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell, as well as Coca-Cola.

According to Michael Jensen, the managing director of Carlsberg in India, the great popularity of the beer is down to the easily recognisable brand.

“The growth can be attributed to the long-term strategy to focus on key markets, especially cities, focused brand portfolio, expanding manufacturing footprint, increased product availability and above all a strong team,” Jensen told Indian news outlet BrandEquity.

Navigating Indian system

Despite the success, Carlsberg faces numerous challenges in the country, where each of its 29 states has its own rules, and the beer producer is thus forced to have breweries in every single one of them.

Jensen explained that the company now concentrates on 55 main cities and develops its national strategy based on what works there.

Great financial loss

Meanwhile, the company’s financial report for 2015 shows Carlsberg recorded a net loss of 2.6 billion kroner, particularly due to problems in Russia, Eastern Europe and China.

Carlsberg sold 4 percent less beer (based on volume) last year and the company’s operating profit dropped by 8 percent compared to 2014.

15 Feb. 2016

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