The beer market dynamics in Russia is approaching zero, yet major brewers are divided into those who developed considerably in 2017 and those who considerably reduced their volumes. For instance, company Efes has managed to substantially extend their sales due to restrained pricing policy and activity in the modern trade. Heineken has also demonstrated an excellent performance promoted by significant increase of advertisement budgets launching a non-alcohol sort of the title brand and unusual activity in the economy market segment. Carlsberg and AB InBev have been focusing on margins and lost a market share of their inexpensive brands. Serious dependence on PET package and mass enthusiasm about Zhigulevskoe have negatively impacted the most of big regional brewers, that have been for the first time pressed by the leaders in the key sales channels, especially in Volga and Central regions. In the small business there has been a noticeable slowdown in appearing of new restaurant breweries, yet the number of craft breweries has been growing rapidly. In 2018, the beer market is likely to grow a little, while the share of AB InBev Efes may decrease due to the integration. ...
“Catalogue of Russian Beer Producers 2018” includes 1070 businesses ranging from large subsidiaries of international companies to rather small restaurant and craft microbreweries.The catalogue includes 32 large breweries, 75 regional breweries, 693 industrial mini- and microbreweries as well as 270 restaurant breweries. ...
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.
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