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.
India. Prohibition: The only wave in Tamil Nadu
All four main political fronts, the AIADMK, DMK, the six-party People’s Welfare Front, and the Pattali Makkal Katchi, have promised to bring in prohibition, with the AIADMK, the architect of the monopoly on liquor retail in 2003, only differing in the details. The party says instead of the overnight ban that the others have pledged, it will phase it out in “stages”.
This Tamil Nadu village bordering Pondicherry is a study in why liquor has become the main talking point of this election, why the promise of prohibition became necessary, how tough it will be to implement it, and why people find it hard to believe that it will become a reality.
It is barely 11 am under a white May sun. Sitting under the shaded platform of the village square, Dara Singh Gounder, named after the wrestler, talks about his one passion: alcohol.
“I can’t live without it. My life is dependent on alcohol. Even the doctors have told me that I need to drink to survive,” the cashew farmer says. The 60-year-old has already had three “quarters” – 180 ml – and says he spends Rs 100 daily on drink.
“We are farmers. If we don’t drink, we can’t work. A farmer’s work is hard work,’ he says.
His friend Tamizhan says he drinks for “enjoyment”, spending like Dara Singh, at least Rs 100 a day.
Another of their friends, M. Thandavarayan, reels off the rates for a “quarter” of every brand that is available in the shops.
Ayyannar, a 37-year-old former kabbadi player joins the conversation and says he left sports for alcohol many years ago. “I drink for enjoyment, for jolly,” he says.
A couple of hundred metres away, Selvi, the head of a self-help group of 1,500 women, says the promise of prohibition must be kept.
Most of the men in of the men in three villages that fall under one panchayat are alcohol addicts and do no productive work.
Her husband Ranganathan is the panchayat president, and Dara Singh Gounder is her brother-in-law.
“My husband also drinks. He’s not violent but for most women it’s causing a lot of family problems. It’s the women that are suffering the most. Every woman wants prohibition. Their husbands do not give them even a quarter of their earnings, they have to struggle to educate and feed their children, the men come home drunk, beat the wives, it’s all too much,” says Selvi.
A woman in her self-help group whose 24-year-old son’s kidneys have both packed up, Selvi says. The mother spends Rs 2000 a week on dialysis.
Shanthi, who works at the nearby Auroville health centre, says she borrowed Rs 11,000 from the centre to take her husband to a rehabilitation centre after “the drink did something to his brain” – he became violent and delirious.
In the seven months since, he has not gone back to liquor, but that remains Shanthi’s biggest fear.
“Out of 1,500 men, maybe only 20 people are not drinking. The rest of them are at it,” she says.
Back in the village square, the men explain why prohibition is a bad idea.
“It will drive people to drink illicit liquor,” said Thandavarayan. “And there will always be other places to get booze”.
Indeed, even now, the village has no liquor shops of its own, but the union territory of Pondicherry, a five-minute drive in any direction, is bursting at the seams with private alcohol retailers that have always stocked more variety than TASMAC, Tamil Nadu government’s liquor marketing arm, and without the high taxes.
This is also why on weekends, Pondicherry sees a spike in alcohol tourists from Chennai. The East Coast Road from Chennai to Pondicherry is notorious for fatal accidents caused mostly by drunken driving.
Across Tamil Nadu, the sight of men passed out in front of the shops and the scrum at the counter to buy the booze has caused widespread anger against TASMAC shops. Small neighbourhood protests have erupted against the shops in some places, forcing the government to shift them.
But unlike in many other states, Tamil Nadu has seen no protests by women for prohibition, no campaign against liquor led by women activists. Neither has there been health or socio-economic audit of the costs of alcohol addiction.
The demand for it crept in almost like silent tsunami, forcing every party to include it at the top of their manifesto, with each now claiming that it was the first to raise it.
In contrast to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when liquor flowed as smoothly as the speeches at rallies, the Assembly elections have not contributed to the TASMAC economy in the same way as Narendra Modi’s two rallies, one in Vandalur, and another in Trichy did.
While PMK founder V. Ramadoss has been raising the demand for prohibition for close to two decades now, the turning point came last year when Sashi Perumal, an anti-liquor campaigner from Erode fell to his death from a lamppost he climbed during a protest against TASMAC shops in Nagercoil.
The DMK jumped to declare that if elected, it would bring in prohibition. Vaiko, Vijayakanth and Dalit leader Thol Thirumavalavan were quick to jump on the bandwagon. The PMK said it had always said prohibition was necessary. The AIADMK was the last to climb aboard, and has kept the promise ambiguous.
In this village of AIADMK voters, say it is common to find a dozen or so men passed out under the MGR statue every evening ,the women say their complaints to their local representatives have fallen on deaf years for so long, that they are surprised at the sudden empathy.
“I am sure they are doing it for some selfish reasons, otherwise it is difficult to understand this,” said Selvi. “If they are saying that they can bring in prohibition the day after they come to power, why didn’t they do it for so long?”
But both men and women say that “Amma has made the best promise” – the men seeing in it a promise that she does not intend to keep, the women saying “a stage by stage prohibition” is more realistic than the promise of an overnight ban.
But DMK may hope to have won over at least some sections of women voters, traditionally an AIADMK vote bank, with its unambiguous promise.
Ramu Mannivannan, a political analyst and Madras University professor said what brought prohibition centre stage in this election is that both AIADMK and DMK have made huge money from liquor sales. Favoured private companies got contracts to supply liquor to TASMAC.
“Though all are promising prohibition, it may not be possible for them to bring it in in the way they are promising now, but the promises may help to rationalize the liquor policy and set up some reasonable standards,” said Manivannan.
A. R Venkatachalapathy of Madras Institute of Development Studies is not that optimistic. “Even if prohibition comes in, there is bound to be a huge hooch tragedy, and whoever is the chief minister will announce that ‘with a heavy heat and tears in my eyes, I am signing this order to lift the liquor ban’, he said.
10 May. 2016