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.
Mango lager? India’s thirst for craft beer grows
Bangalore has more than 25 thriving brewpubs -- a pub with a small brewery on the premises -- while India's other cosmopolitan cities boasting vast young populations and expanding middle classes are also catching on.
"They are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes. We have young customers, middle-aged and some in their 80s with their walking sticks," said Meenakshi Raju, co-owner of the Biere Club.
Raju and her brother decided to open a brewpub years ago after travelling in Europe and the United States where successful microbreweries "were mushrooming all over the place".
But it took another five years of working with India's notoriously multi-layered bureaucracy before laws were drafted and passed in Karnataka state, of which international IT hub Bangalore is the capital, and its first brewpub opened in 2011.
"It was difficult mainly because it was a brand new concept that nobody knew about or understood," Raju said.
Enjoying a lager with friends before watching a recent World Twenty20 cricket match, local engineering student Abhay Sarnaik said the craft beer was a welcome change.
"We are bored of drinking bottled beer. There's nothing wrong with Kingfisher but you can't drink it all the time," the 21-year-old said of the longtime local favourite, which has more than 50 percent of the country's $3 billion annual beer market.
Indians down 425 million cases of beer alone annually and have traditionally opted for strong beer, which normally has an alcohol content of more than eight percent. It is also the world's biggest whiskey drinking nation.
"We are a big alcohol drinking country, but it's never been about having a refreshing beverage with friends or over a meal, it's always been about getting a high," market expert Ankur Bisen said.
"We drank strong beer to get a kick."
But as income levels rise in India, along with overseas travel, drinkers are becoming more discerning, said Bisen, senior vice-president of retail and consumer products at consultancy Technopak in New Delhi.
Bisen said although craft beer sales were miniscule nationally, they were growing in major cities including financial capital Mumbai, and Gurgaon, a satellite city outside Delhi that is home to numerous global companies, as well as craftbrew capital Bangalore.
But the hurdles facing microbrewers wanting to expand are enormous in a country whose 29 states slap a mind-boggling array of regulations and taxes on booze and its trade.
"It's like having 29 different countries within India," Bisen said of trying to do business nationally.
"It's also like a golden egg for some governments," he said of revenues from tariffs on alcohol, which include the national government's whopping 150 percent on imported spirits.
Other states in deeply religious India take a wildly different view. Prohibition has existed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home of Gujarat for decades, while impoverished Bihar is rolling it out from this month.
Southern Kerala, which draws tourists to its tea plantations, backwaters and sweeping coastlines, has banned alcohol sales in most hotels in a bid to combat a damaging local drinking problem.
Mainly the poor get around such bans by brewing their own dirt-cheap and sometimes poisonous moonshine, which kills hundreds each year.
In Bangalore, Gaurav Sikka, managing director of Arbor Brewing Company, said challenges to doing business include navigating complicated customs and other regulatory clearances for the imported hops and malt.
Sikka set up his pub in 2012 in partnership with a brewer of the same name in the US city of Michigan where he used to study and work.
"It's about creating a community of people who know their brewer personally, and come together at the pub to relax and appreciate their beer."
As crowds gathered midweek at Arbor to eat dinner and sample its eight beers, which include a Belgian-style tripel, Sikka said he was mulling expansion, with the IT hub of Hyderabad reportedly also planning to allow microbrewers.
"I think we are only just testing the market, the industry is still in its infancy," he told AFP. "Every Kingfisher drinker is not a craft beer drinker, but there is a segment that would like to upgrade."
"The potential is absolutely massive."
6 Apr. 2016