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.
Looking to the future: What to watch in beer in 2016 – and beyond
Innovations that tap into multiple trends; an increasing diversity of brews; and the potential of technology to differentiate brands were among the areas identified by our panel during Beer and Beyond, our free online event, which you can listen to on demand here.
Kevin Baker, senior consultant at Canadean; Edward Brunner, head of food and beverage systems at Cambridge Consultants, and Simon Spillane, Public Affairs Director, The Brewers of Europe highlighted areas that make the beer industry an exciting one to watch in 2016 and beyond.
Flavored craft beers: The intersection of trends
Premiumization, craft, sweeter flavors and non-alcoholic beers are all trends in today’s market, said Kevin Baker, senior consultant, Canadean. Identifying where the main trends are colliding – or could collide in the future - is particularly interesting.
“Looking at where some of the mega trends intersect: you’ve got this move toward flavored beers and fruit beers, you’ve got the continuing growth of craft beer, and you’ve got the trend towards non-alcoholic beer,” he said.
“What you’re interestingly seeing is some brewers are creating products that sit on those intersections, so especially in the craft area you’re seeing a growth of flavored beers, very strong growth in that - more so in the States, but you’re beginning to see it in Europe as well.
“And it will be interesting to see if any of the craft brewers actually move into the non-alcohol space.”
Markets and brewers
In other areas, Baker notes a changing competitive landscape as a result of the AB InBev and SABMiller deal. The disposals that happen as a result of the tie-up (for example the sale of Snow to China Resources Beer) will also shape the market.
Geographically, there are specific markets that should hold a lot of interest for brewers, added Baker: for instance Nigeria, Mongolia and India (India may have negligible per capita consumption, but its population size makes it a key market to watch).
Bringing consumers back to beer
More than 900 new breweries have opened in Europe since 2013, and The Brewers of Europe now represents the interests of more than 6,500 breweries.
For Simon Spillane, Public Affairs Director at The Brewers of Europe, this demonstrates the diversity of the market and shows how there is the opportunity for beer to appeal to a wider range of consumers.
“Five years ago we were talking about 3,000 breweries in Europe and now there are 6,500,” he said. “I would be very interested to see how this trend continues developing in 2016, both in terms of number of breweries but also the diversity, the choice of beers that are on the market.”
Such diversity also offers a chance to get into occasions that have been left for wine, or bring back consumers who had turned away from beer, he added.
“This diversity is an opportunity for both the micro brewers but also for the global brewers – this general excitement and interest around the category as a whole.”
Differentiation through technology
Edward Brunner, head of food and beverage systems at Cambridge Consultants, agrees that diversity is an important factor, playing into the trend for personalization.
“Continued diversity in choice, the different types of flavors available, the different combinations of ingredients, it gives consumers more options and the ability to personalize,” he said.
“And building on that: how that can be bought to consumers in different ways. So do we just continue to increase the number of SKUs available, or do we come back to technology but use technology to create differentiation in different places, be that at home or in the on-trade, things like infusion systems.”
In the case of the on-trade, this could encourage people to explore something different at bars, rather than sticking to what they know at home, he added.
15 Mar. 2016