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.
Budweiser Is Having a Ball in Russia
In a country where brewing output has fallen more than 30 percent since 2008, the self-proclaimed King of Beers is growing sales at a double-digit pace, according to the head of owner Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s Russian unit.
So what’s the deal? Unlike in the U.S. and western Europe, Budweiser is pitched as a premium brand, boosting its appeal to a younger, more discerning Russian drinker. Yet it isn’t as expensive as some imported equivalents. By producing locally, ABI has been able to avoid the impact of the ruble’s drop against the dollar on the price of imported beers. Bud became Russia’s third-largest premium beer brand by volume last year, according to Nielsen estimates, placing it ahead of Heineken.
“Bud is a truly premium brand in Russia in terms of both pricing and user perception,” ABI country head Dmitry Shpakov said in an interview in his Moscow office.
ABI’s fourth-quarter results showed how the growth of premium brands such as Bud are helping its performance in Russia. Its beer volumes there declined by mid-single-digits in 2015, but rose by mid-single-digits in the final three months. By contrast, Budweiser lost share in the U.S. amid the growing popularity of craft brews.
Since choosing Russia as Bud’s first market for international expansion in 2010, ABI has ramped up production at a factory near Moscow. That’s enabled it to avoid increasing prices by as much as imported brews. At 61 rubles ($0.87) a bottle, Bud is less than half the price of ABI’s imported Spaten brand, which costs 175 rubles. Yet Bud still retains its international prestige, being priced about 30 percent higher than ABI’s bestselling mass-market brand Klinskoe.
“Several years ago, production volumes of Klinskoe used to be several times higher than Bud in Russia,” Shpakov said. “Since then, Bud has caught up and now the difference is not that big.”
Key to Bud’s growth has been its increased sponsorship of sporting events after the country eased advertising limits for brewers last year. The brand is sponsoring the 2018 soccer World Cup and the preceding 2017 Confederation Cup. In addition, many Russians have a preference for a global brand as part of their lifestyle, Shpakov said.
Yet, Russia remains a tough place to do business, as AB InBev and Carlsberg A/S have shown by closing plants in response to falling consumption. The industry is calling for at least a partial reversal of the increased taxes that have hurt it over the last eight years.
“This would be mutually beneficial as breweries would be able to boost output, ultimately paying more in excises,” Shpakov said.
30 Mar. 2016