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.
Myanmar. Heineken takes back Tiger and ABC beers
The two brands will now be made under the portfolio of APB Alliance Brewery Company (APB-ABC), a joint venture between Heineken and local firm Alliance Brewery.
Myanmar Brewery gave up its rights to the brands when it split from Singapore-listed Fraser and Neave last year after a drawn-out ownership dispute. F&N owned the rights to produce both beers.
Last August, the licences expired and Myanmar Brewery has not sold ABC or Tiger since. In the past, Heineken held both licences and has now taken them back.
“As the licence holder, they did a good job penetrating the market to ensure [these beers] are significant brands to Myanmar drinkers,” said Lester Tan, managing director of APB-ABC.
Tiger and ABC will now be brewed at APB-ABC’s new US$60 million brewery in Hmawbi township which opened in July last year.
When they return to the shelves, the beers will look a little different – they have been re-designed to reflect a more modern look with a stronger quality, said Mr Tan, adding that the ingredients and the taste will remain unchanged.
“Currently our factory can produce 25 million hectolitres per year, but amid huge demand for Heineken brands we are in the process of raising the capacity to produce 45 million hectolitres for all the four brands under APB-ABC,” he said.
The other two brands are Heineken and a new, locally produced beer called Regal Seven which will target the mainstream market, competing head-to-head with Myanmar Brewery’s Myanmar Beer.
Mr Tan said his company has contracts with around 150 beer stations and is selling bottles and cans to over 4000 stores. This is very low compared with the number of stations and shops across the country, he said, but growth is held back by brand competition laws.
Hiroshi Fujikawa, Myanmar Brewery’s CEO, told The Myanmar Times last year that losing Tiger and ABC was a blow. “It is always sad to say goodbye to something you have become familiar with, but it’s also important to innovate and to take on challenges,” he said, declining to discuss specific details of the contract.
“There were no licence fees. Those brands belonged to Heineken – it was their right to terminate the contract, so we had to give it up.”
31 Mar. 2016