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.
Thailand. ThaiBev looks abroad to grow
The moves will help ThaiBev achieve its goal of becoming a leading, sustainable drinks company in Asean by 2020. Chief executive Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi said ThaiBev is interested in acquiring major stakes in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation and Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation.
The Vietnamese government wants to divest of its 89.59% stake in Saigon Beer for UScopy.8 billion in auctions this year and next, along with its 82% stake in Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage for $404 million.
"We're interested in both Saigon and Hanoi beer, but we will wait for bidding details from the Vietnamese government," Mr Thapana said.
Apart from the two beer operations, ThaiBev is eyeing investment in more drinks businesses in Vietnam.
"We will continue to expand our beverage business in Vietnam because it's one of the growth markets along with Myanmar," Mr Thapana said.
ThaiBev plans to increase its stake in Vinamilk, in which Fraser and Neave, ThaiBev's subsidiary in Singapore, holds 11% now.
Apart from bidding for the two Vietnamese beer operations, the company plans to begin marketing its Chang beer in Vietnam later this month.
Chang beer will be sold at Metro cash-and-carry stores. Berli Jucker Plc (BJC), a subsidiary of ThaiBev, acquired Metro earlier this year.
Thai Corp and Phu Thai, two trading companies under BJC, will also help distribute Chang beer in Vietnam.
Moreover, ThaiBev plans to add to its whisky portfolio in Vietnam. It is studying the launch of a new whisky brand or the export of existing brands from Thailand to Vietnam.
The new whisky brand would begin sales in the Vietnamese market next year. The group already markets Old Pulteney premium Scotch whisky in Vietnam.
"Apart from Vietnam, we also plan to expand our logistics and beverage businesses in Myanmar," Mr Thapana said. "We have sent our team to survey the market in Indonesia before marketing some non-alcoholic products there."
To accommodate its aggressive expansion, ThaiBev's board approved a business restructuring, effective on Oct 1, in a bid to pursue the Vision 2020 goal of becoming a leading drinks company in Asean.
The company will have two new units, brand investment management and route-to-market, to support its three core units of spirits, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
Mr Thapana himself will look after brand investment management while Ueychai Tantha-Obhas, who has more than three decades of experience in Thailand's spirits markets, will handle the route-to-market unit.
Mr Ueychai will be promoted as the company's senior executive vice-president. His key work is to oversee distribution channels and harmonise businesses across alcohol and non-alcohol businesses under ThaiBev.
Apart from Mr Ueychai, the board also appointed three experienced executives to serve as CEOs for the spirits, beer and non-alcoholic product units: Prapakon Thongtheppairot, Edmond Neo Kim Soon and Vivek Chhabra.
"With the new business structure, we could transform ThaiBev into a truly sustainable organisation," Mr Thapana said.
ThaiBev will spend 2 billion baht to build the Chang brand for beer, soda and drinking water next year. The company aims for Chang to be the leader in Thailand's beer market with a 45% share by 2020.
13 Sep. 2016