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.
Beer market of Vietnam: “Young tiger”Vietnam is one of the few big beer markets that continue to grow steadily. The beer popularity results from its low price, street consumption culture, and social motives. The outlooks of beer market as well as the Vietnamese economy inspire optimism, though the country is heavily dependent on export of goods. The state regulation can be called liberal, but the key risk for brewers is harbored in intensive rising of excise. Within TOP-4 there are two leaders, Sabeco and Heineken that grow at the fastest rates. The first company effectively employs its capacities, the second one focuses on marketing technologies. Almost 80% of the market belongs to century-old brands, yet the middle class and the youth are shifting their interest toward international premium that is growing taking share from the mainstream.
Analysis of beer market in China (on Russian)
Beer market of Ukraine: big three losing weightIn 2016, fast increase of excises and resulting price spike stood in the way of the beer market stabilization. Most of competition (as well as mass sorts) moved to the economy segment of the market. The biggest losses were incurred by the leading three, especially Obolon, which again experienced pressure after reallocation of Efes market share. However, one should already speak of TOP-4. Group Oasis CIS (PPB) became a strong player and competitor to transnational companies. Besides the net sales of many regional medium breweries look rather good and 16-fold cost reduction wholesale trade license for craft brewers opens up a possibility of rapid growth in 2017.
Hong Kong. Master House, Lan Kwai Fong – Japanese beers at a price
The vibe: in a word, Japanese. Master House is the first bar opened in Hong Kong by Japanese brewing giant Suntory to showcase its Premium Malt beer range. Bang in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, it’s less rowdy than most of its neighbours. The downstairs bar is long and narrow, with bare brick walls, subdued lighting and a dark brown colour scheme which add up to give an austere look. There’s additional seating upstairs for those who want to linger over their drinks and try out the Japanese-themed bar snacks.
The drinks: the accent is firmly on beer, with six different Suntory offerings available on draught.
We tried the classic Premium Malt (HK$80), the Premium Malt Black (HK$100) and the Half & Half (HK$90), a mixture of the two that nicely combined the rich, almost Guinness-like body and creamy mouthfeel of the Black with the intense hops and nice balance of the Premium.
Strongest of the beers is the flagship Master’s Dream (HK$130), powerful and full-bodied with a refreshing bitterness.
All the beers were beautifully fresh and expertly poured from good, clean taps. That said, excellent though the quality is, prices are steep for 380ml (just under a pint for the less decimally minded). That’s a good bit pricier than the local norm and Master House doesn’t seem to have any happy hour deals, unlike most bars in the vicinity.
If you want your malt without hops, you can also sample a range of Suntory whiskies, including Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu, although the appeal to whisky connoisseurs seems limited with so many specialist whisky bars in Hong Kong offering broader selections.
The verdict: great if you’re serious about draught beer – but you’d have to be serious about it to pay the prices.
25 Aug. 2016