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.
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.
Japan. Sapporo Holdings chases standalone Pilsner Urquell deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev
In an interview on Friday, Tsutomu Kamijo said Pilsner Urquell is a "good brand" that fitted Sapporo's focus on quality beer. However, the president, who last week announced he would step down at the end of the year, suggested a deal was unlikely unless current owner AB InBev agrees a standalone sale.
"Personally, I want to have Pilsner Urquell, but the other brands, I don't need them," Kamijo said at Sapporo's headquarters in Tokyo. "It [Pilsner Urquell] is a good brand. It fits our culture as beer lovers."
Pilsner Urquell is just one of dozens of central and eastern European beer assets AB InBev has put up for sale after the Budweiser owner acquired them as part of its takeover of SAB. A number of groups are reportedly interested in buying the brands, including private-equity firms and Sapporo's domestic rival Asahi, which has already completed the purchase of former SAB brands Grolsch and Peroni.
Reports in July said that AB InBev is seeking a single buyer for the assets.
Despite his interest in Pilsner Urquell, Kamijo said Sapporo's current focus lies outside of Europe. "We may need more energy to focus on Europe," he said. "In general, the market itself in Western Europe is not so huge. I think we are now at the stage to concentrate on North America and South East Asia, specifically Vietnam."
Asked if Sapporo would consider buying the Vietnamese government's majority stakes in Hanoi Beer Alcohol & Beverage Corp (Habeco) and Saigon Beer Alcohol and Beverages Corp (Sabeco), Kamijo said it was only natural that his company would be interested.
"We are there, and we have a relationship with the Government and also the company," he said. "We know much more (about Vietnam), compared to players such as Asahi and Kirin."
"We're not sure what the Government is thinking about," Kamijo warned. "They are on the way to releasing the government shares in Sabeco and Habeco, but they haven't yet announced how or when."
Sapporo was one of the first international brewers to enter the Vietnamese market and has had a brewery in the country since 2011.
Kamijo will step down as Sapporo's president on 1 January to become chairman of the alcohol, soft drinks and snacks conglomerate. He will be replaced by Sapporo Breweries president & Sapporo Holdings COO Masaki Oga.
Last week, the company launched a 2020 business plan with the aim of more than doubling international profits in the next four years.
8 Nov. 2016