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4-2017

Global hop market

A 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 Russia

Germany 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.

Hite Jinro to use Vietnam as gateway to up presence in Southeast Asia

South Korea’s Hite Jinro seeks to expand its presence in Vietnam to make the country a gateway to the South East Asian market and strive to achieve 530 billion won ($475 million) in overseas sales by 2024, according to the company’s long-term outline.

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“We will develop tailored marketing solutions and strengthen our sales network to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese consumers with our main products Jinro soju and Hite beer,” the company’s chief executive officer Kim In-kyu said at a ceremony held to announce its future vision in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 29.

The company is targeting Vietnam where the Korean pop culture is immensely popular and consumers have stomach for strong liquor. It has launched Chamisul Classic soju that contains 19.9 percent alcohol and has a shrink-cap exclusively for the market. Soju is a clear, distilled spirit with high alcohol content, typically made from rice or barley, that is the most consumed alcohol beverage in Korea.

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The company aims to increase its share from the current 1 percent to 7 percent by 2020 in the Vietnamese distilled liquor market that has grown more than 17 percent over the past five years.

As part of product placement marketing, the company’s Jinro 24 and Chamisul soju will appear in a drama titled Forever Young 2 that was co-produced by Korea and Vietnam and will be aired on Vietnam Television (VTV) starting next month.

For promotion, the company also launched a girl group named Jinro Gril Group (JRGG) in partnership with Thailand’s Boon Rawd Brewery Co. last year in order to raise brand awareness through the group’s songs. It plans to set up a so-called antenna shop to promote and expand sales of its products and start TV commercials in Cambodia.

With a rising popularity of Korea’s unique soju and beer cocktail called ‘Somac’, it also seeks to raise its beer sales in the overseas markets by carrying out various promotional activities such as opening of Somac cocktail bars and issuing Somac licenses.

Hite Jinro is expected to achieve $17.05 million in exports this year, up 31.6 percent from last year. Its exports have been growing at a double-digit rate every year since 2011.

5 Sep. 2016

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