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.
More Brewers in Sights After China Resources Snow Beer Buy
China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co. on Wednesday agreed to buy SABMiller’s stake in Snow Breweries for $1.6 billion, smoothing the way for a takeover of its partner by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. The Hong Kong-listed unit of China Resources Holding Co. currently owns 51 percent of the venture.
“Once the SABMiller deal is completed, they may start to buy some small breweries again,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Duncan Fox. Potential targets include Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co., China’s fourth-biggest brewer by volume, although deals would be subject to balance sheet constraints, he said.
Yanjing, backed by the Beijing municipal government, plans to sell about a 20 percent stake to a foreign strategic partner, people with knowledge of the matter had said last February. The brewer of Yanjing Beer denied those plans.
Small regional breweries with shares of around 2 percent or less make up the bulk of China’s expanding beer consumption, while state-linked beermakers including China Resources and Tsingtao Brewery Co. lead nationally, according to data from Euromonitor International.
Shares of Chinese brewers rose, with Shenzhen-listed Yanjing gaining as much as 1.5 percent to 6.93 yuan, its highest intraday level in a week. China Resources Beer and Tsingtao advanced as much as 4 percent and 3.7 percent respectively in Hong Kong trading. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 0.9 percent.
China Resources plans to buy up regional brewers as it sees “great opportunities” to enhance its presence in this way, the beer unit’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Lai said in August, comparing the strategy to how the company strengthened its position in southern China by buying Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd.’s assets in 2013.
Large beermakers such as China Resources may need to merge to gain market share in order to survive, said Haitong International Securities Co. analyst Nicolas Wang. They also need to improve their products to meet Chinese customers’ rising demands for better quality, as the local market is already crowded with low-end beer, said Hong Kong-based Wang.
While Asia has been awash with low-priced beer for decades, rising incomes mean younger connoisseurs are willing to spend more. For example, AB InBev said in a 2015 report that profitability is as much as nine times greater for premium beer in China compared with mainstream lines.
Snow, which had a 23 percent share of China’s market last year, outsells all other beers globally by volume after overtaking Bud Light in 2008. The brewery produces enough liquid to fill about 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day, according to SABMiller’s website.
That’s mainly a function of the country’s huge population, as China Resources sells hardly any beer overseas. The brewer has been trying to lift the image of its products in China by raising prices and pushing out higher-grade brews, said BNP Paribas SA analyst Charlie Chen.
“They will continue to do so because their average selling price is still lower than Tsingtao,” Chen said. The owner of Snow Beer has been able to achieve about 5 to 10 percent increases in average selling prices per year by shifting focus to smaller bottle sizes and cans, as well as introducing premium products, he said. The company is selling beers for as low as 3 yuan (0.5 cents) per bottle and as much as 25 yuan for their so-called super premium brews.
China Resources said in an interim report last year it’s aiming to drive sales and profitability by growing higher-priced brands with better margins. These mid- to high-end products, which are priced at above 5 yuan per 500 milliliters, accounted for 41 percent of the company’s sales volume in 2014, up from 29 percent in 2012.
The Chinese company’s aspiration of capturing the higher end of the drinks market could be hampered as AB InBev becomes a competitor, instead of its partner. AB InBev’s Budweiser, considered a premium brand in China, has a 2.6 percent share of the market, according to Euromonitor.
China Resources may “need to tie-up with another brewer to get some premium brands moving through, or maybe they have learned enough of SABMiller about the art of brewing that they create another brand,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Fox said.
3 Mar. 2016