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.
The Rising Upper Middle Class Vice of Craft Beer Infiltrates China
The bitter and rich taste of craft beer is becoming increasingly popular in China, where local brands flourish and a recent trend is drinking an Anglophile “ale” or a “lager” with a “bitter” touch.
Carl Setzer, event organizer and founder of the beer brand Great Leap, explained to EFE that the aim of the festival is to give Beijingers a taste of the beer market offerings outside of Beijing.
Setzer was one of the pioneers of the craft beer business in Beijing.
His business model is based on integrating flavors and Chinese names in the production of this elaborate drink.
The names of his beers play with terms or stories from traditional Chinese culture, such as “Iron Buddha,” the “Little General” or “Imperial Pumpkin,” as well as incorporate hints of spices, exotic fruits and local tea.
The rising Chinese middle class, its purchasing power, and its attraction to Western trends of consumption, seen as modern, are some of the factors that explain the rise of such beverages.
Chinese business people or exchange students have already experienced some of these trends, for example, in the United States, birthplace of the microbreweries or craft beer.
According to the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, China is the biggest global consumer of beer, with more than 54,000 million liters put back per year, followed by the U.S. with 24,000 liters, and Brazil with 14,000.
Even so, if one looks at per-capita consumption, the level is not very high, since Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Vietnam take more interest in these bitter drinks.
This factor makes the beer market in China “less mature,” Chandler Jurinka told EFE.
Jurinka is the creator of the Slow Boat brand – one of the most famous in China – giving the business a “competitive advantage” of being able to aspire to higher sales, something that would be difficult in countries where beer consumption is already steady.
“Our best selling beer is the Monkey Fest. It is strong, bitter and with hints of mango and passionfruit,” said Jurinka, who, like the most entrepreneurs venturing into this business in China is a foreigner, and reveals with pride that his new project is to create a lychee-flavored beer.
Preparing craft beers “with Chinese characteristics” is typical in this business – which has spread to major cities, including Shanghai – but there are also brewmasters that deviate from this trend.
Thomas Gaestadius and Will Yorke, a Swede and an Englishman, after working as “house” music DJs in Beijing clubs, and craft sausage-makers, began brewing their own beer by watching videos over the internet and using cooking pots.
“We don’t want to do things just to make ourselves clever,” they told EFE, and criticized the “temptation” of using Chinese flavors or ingredients in every beer of its brand Arrow Factory.
For now, most of their customers are foreigners – “the Chinese come later,” they said, ensuring that they will not change their style to offer “Chinese packaging” to the products or add an exotic ingredient to every beer: “anyone could put grapefruit in a carbonara sauce,” they said laughing.
They are not afraid of being labeled as “simple” or “less Chinese,” and compare brewing beer with making electronic music: “If you do something good, people will come.”
1 Mar. 2016