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 counts the cost of trying to solve its drinking problem
By the time the liquor store on Kalavasah Teni road in the south Indian city of Madurai opens for business at 10am on Monday, a small queue of regular customers has already begun to form outside.
Within minutes, bottles fly off the shelves. By the end of the day, the shop will have sold about 600 bottles of alcohol and made about 100,000 rupees (£1,000). On bank holidays or during religious festivals, sales can be 10 times that amount.
The Kalavasah Teni shop is one of 6,800 in Tamil Nadu, and is controlled by a government-run organisation called Tasmac, which has a state-wide monopoly on alcohol sales.
Tasmac has seen an increase in revenue every year since 2003, when alcohol sales were taken over by the government. In 2014-15, Tasmac took in about 24,000 crore rupees (£2.4bn), more than a quarter of the state’s total income for the year.
Before Tasmac, alcohol was a taboo, and people had to travel to obscure places to buy it. In the past decade, the government has opened Tasmac shops across the state, even next to schools, temples and in residential areas. As a result, alcoholism is spreading. Rates of divorce, street crime and domestic violence are rising.
According to the World Health Organisation, nearly one in 20 Indian men have an addiction or alcohol-related disorder.
But now, chief minister Jayalalithaa, who introduced the monopoly in 2003, has promised to phase out alcohol sales completely after violent anti-alcohol clashes in the run-up to last month’s state elections. Since her swearing-in ceremony at the end of May, she has already announced that Tasmac’s retail hours will be reduced, and 500 stores closed.
In 2014, the neighbouring southern state of Kerala started phasing out alcohol, and this year, Bihar, one of India’s most populous states, declared an overnight liquor ban. Prohibition has been implemented to varying degrees in many states including Gujarat and Manipur, and Tamil Nadu has a history of periodically banning the bottle.
Nandhini Anandhan, a 24-year-old law student from Madurai, is at the forefront of a massive student movement in favour of prohibition in Tamil Nadu. She and more than 200 students from Madurai Law College have linked with students in all the major cities of Tamil Nadu to coordinate protests in response to alcohol abuse among young people.
“Nowadays, it’s not only college students – kids start drinking as early as year nine [age 13 to 14],” Anandhan says. “The government has ruined three generations.”
At Sellur Vattara Kalinjiyam, a women’s rights organisation in Madurai, almost all the women have a sister, neighbour or friend with a story about alcohol abuse.
At its headquarters, dozens of volunteers have been collecting signatures to urge the government to close all Tasmac shops. More than 5,000 people have signed the petition so far.
One of the women, Savitri (many people in the region use one name), says: “My husband earns 500 rupees a day. From that, he gives me only 50 rupees for the household expenses. If I ask for more, he shouts at me and beats me. My older sister has the same problem. Her husband hits her and the children when he’s drunk.
“When our sons see their fathers, they start drinking too – these are school kids. We want a total ban, and if the promises of the election are not met, we will go and start a riot,” she says.
For some women, easy access to alcohol has made public spaces inaccessible. One woman, Rajeshwari, says she avoids walking on roads with Tasmac shops. “The men stand outside the shop, crowded together. If we try to walk past them, they shout rude things. I don’t feel safe walking alone. Sometimes I change my route completely, just to avoid them.”
But outlawing the sale of alcohol will not be easy. Politicians have close ties to the alcohol industry in Tamil Nadu. Both Jayalalithaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party and the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party have given licences to produce alcohol to close aides.
The alcohol ban raises questions about how the state plans to continue funding public services without cash from Tasmac shops.
Among the concerns is whether cuts will be made to services to protect women.
“There is no evidence from any country in the world, or any state of India, that prohibition directly contributes to the reduction of violence against women,” says Vikram Patel, an academic at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“Even if it did, it would be the equivalent to banning cars to address road traffic accidents,” he says.
“Policies that combat the deep-rooted gender inequality in India, for example through empowering women with sexual and reproductive rights, must remain the most important strategy to reduce violence against women.”
Dr K Jothi Sivagnanam, an economist at the University of Madras, says the reason a decision to ban alcohol took so long is because of the contribution sales make to public and private revenue. A slow implementation of prohibition will buy time to find alternative revenues. “[The government] have a few options to collect revenue to replace that income. Their commercial tax department has huge scope to collect VAT on large business transactions. Stamp and registration duty has also been low because of undervaluation,” he says.
But he says, after the promises, the government will need to close Tasmac shops sooner rather than later, “or else the opposition parties will use this against them in the next election”.
The Guardian has made many attempts to contact the Tamil Nadu government for comment but no response had been received at time of publication.
13 Jun. 2016