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.
What, exactly, is a standard drink? Researchers highlight variations in alcohol consumption guidelines
The World Health Organization defines a standard drink as 10g of pure ethanol, and both men and women are advised not to exceed two drinks a day.
Yet the definition of a ‘standard’ drink differs substantially between nations – ranging from 8g to 20g, according to a study published in the journal Addiction.
Those working with drinking guidelines across national boundaries should be sensitive to substantial variations in ‘standard’ drink definitions and low-risk drinking guidelines, advise researchers.
A not-so-standard drink
The study looked at a pool of 75 countries that could be expected to have a definition of a ‘standard’ drink and low-risk drinking guidelines. Only 37 countries (less than 50%) provided a definition that was either publicly available or communicated to the researchers.
The size of a ‘standard’ drink varies by 250%, from 8g pure ethanol in Iceland and the UK, to 20g for a drink in Austria.
An 8g drink is equivalent to 250 ml / 8.45 US fluid ounces of 4% beer, 76 ml / 2.57 oz of 13% wine, or 25 ml / 0.85 oz of 40% spirits.
“Although the WHO suggested that a standard drink size of 10g of pure ethanol is clearly the modal definition in use around the world, only half of countries use it specifically or present a ranged definition that includes it,” wrote the researchers in the study.
Those countries that do use a 10g pure ethanol definition include Australia, New Zealand, China, France, Germany, India, and Singapore.
Government standard drink definitions, in grams of pure ethanol
Meanwhile, some countries define a drink more precisely than others: in Luxembourg a standard drink is 12.8g, whereas in Switzerland the standard is more loosely defined as 10-12g.
There are other variations in national guidelines.
“Almost all countries with standard drink definitions (and, indeed, some without any, such as Belize, Trinidad and Tobago) recommend abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy and/or during breastfeeding,” the researchers explain.
“Some countries specify a higher drink limit for ‘special occasions’ (e.g. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland and the UK) and many guidelines recommend abstinence from alcohol for 1–3 days per week; examples include Canada, Chile, Estonia, Germany and New Zealand”.
And even set guidelines for a standard drink need to be considered in context, say the researchers.
“The data from several countries merit elaboration. Austria has a domestic standard drink size of 20g, but the health ministry's educational materials also present parallel low-risk drinking guidelines assuming a smaller drink definition that is more similar to that in other countries (8g),” continues the study.
“South Africa's government disseminates recommendations on the number of glasses of beer and wine per day, but does not provide standard measures of these drinks.
“Malta and Malaysia define a standard drink but do not have specific low-risk consumption guidelines, whereas Japan has low-risk consumption guidelines in grams of pure ethanol but does not define a standard drink.
“The US government, rather confusingly, has guidelines for low-risk drinking, yet also has a separate, lower guideline for ‘moderate drinking’ (up to 14 g a day for women and 28 g a day for men).”
In Australia, Grenada, Portugal and South Africa, low-risk drinking guidelines are the same for men and women.
So why is the differentiation between standard drink sizes significant?
To start with, public health researchers and anyone working with drinking guidelines across country borders need to appreciate they may not be comparing like with like.
“Caution should be exercised when attempting to translate alcohol findings across national borders – for example, when reading a study of ‘low-risk drinking’ published in a country other than one's own,” advise the researchers.
“Although the 10g of pure ethanol per standard drink definition is prevalent, assuming its universality would be an error as often as it would be correct.”
The researchers also hope that, by compiling the definitions across the world, they can inspire more evaluation into whether such guidelines benefit public health and, if so, what strategies would increase the number of nations that develop and disseminate them.
“Drinking guidelines are not set in stone, and what is summarized in our study should be considered within the context of the data collection period, the summer of 2015.
“In January 2016, the UK Department of Health proposed new drinking guidelines that replace a daily consumption guideline with a weekly recommended limit of 112 g of ethanol for both males and females.
“The newly proposed guidelines, upon which the government is now taking consultation, represents a significant change and other nations, of course, may also alter their guidelines some day in response to different scientific and policy forces.
“We therefore intend to update this report in the future and would be grateful to international colleagues who inform us of developments in their countries regarding standard drink definitions and drinking guidelines.”
15 Apr. 2016