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.
Filling technology at drinktec—The rise and rise of aseptic
This, in essence, is what it´s all about in the discussion about the right filling technology. All the technological developments and filling innovations of the engineering companies and packaging producers—for glass, PET, cans and cartons—focus on these issues. And at drinktec 2017, the World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, all these players will be coming together and presenting their latest ideas and technological achievements. drinktec is the perfect place for fillers wanting to review the status quo in technology.
On around 80,000 square meters of exhibition space—that´s about two-thirds of the total available hall space—drinktec will be presenting product-specific process technology for producing and processing beverages, milk and liquid foods. One important and ever larger area within processing technology is packaging technology. This includes of course filling technology, in which drinktec has for many years been a pioneer. Sustainability, resource consumption and of course hygiene are the important themes here. SIMEI, a wine technology trade fair which in 2017 will for the first time be an integrated part of drinktec, will showcase solutions specifically designed for bottling and packaging wine.
drinktec gathers together a ‘Who’s Who’ of the sector
For Thomas Ricker, Executive Board Director in charge of bottling and packaging equipment at Krones AG, Neutraubling, drinktec is a kind of “status update for the sector. Which supplier is developing what, where is the sector headed? In Munich you can ask these questions and get answers. drinktec is the number one fair for us, it´s where we present our innovations to the international trade audience. Here we have a chance to meet in person the customers that you are not in daily contact with. Because drinktec is a veritable ‘Who´s Who’ of the international beverage and liquid food sector.”
Three major trends
What will be happening in the area of filling beverages and liquid foods in 2017? Three major trends are emerging in filling technology:
- 100 percent product safety through consequent hygienic design
- Maximizing the filling performance
- Strengthening sustainability and reducing consumption of media.
“This is being made possible through continuous improvements along the entire product route, for example, by increasing the degree of automation of filling valves or by using intelligent filling valve components,” explained Thomas Ricker, Director at Krones.
A block configuration, mechanically and electronically combining individual machines into a single unit, has also proved to be an excellent tool in further optimizing filling processes. The inline production of PET containers and immediate filling without intermediate conveyors also facilitates the use of lightweight bottles.
Qualities of glass with the weight advantages of PET
“In filling, PET bottles are becoming increasingly important. With suitable coating processes the optimum qualities of glass can be combined with the weight advantages of the PET bottle,” says Chairman of the Executive Board of KHS AG, Dortmund, Professor Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer. Innovations like a lightweight 1-liter PET bottle for milk and milk-based beverages underlines this drive. It can be filled aseptically, it protects the product, reduces production costs and is fully recyclable. Niemeyer also sees efficiency and flexibility benefits for the user through direct connection of the blower, labeller and filler. These benefits are especially clear in the case of the high-performance requirements of the global players.
Availability is key with aseptic filling
At least for the filling of sensitive, weakly acid beverages in PET containers, aseptic seems to be emerging as the favored option. Already a wide variety of choices are being offered by the manufacturers and used by the fillers, always carefully targeted to the specific application. Whether cold-aseptic filling with paracetic acid or dry-aseptic filling with hydrogen peroxide, whether sterilization of the finished container or already of the preform, whether an individual machine or blocking of units—the best solution for the application depends on the requirement criteria of the operator.
In aseptic filling in particular developments can be expected which go in the direction of flexibilization of the system concept, in expanding the performance levels and using sterilization technologies that help reduce the overall consumption of a system. Given the rising number of products, the availability of a system is a key theme, especially in aseptic filling. Availability is expressed in the total cost of ownership (TCO), a parameter that fillers are having to pay more close attention to.
In dry-aseptic filling, preform sterilization is state of the art; in wet sterilization it´s about further reducing media consumption. At drinktec 2017 visitors can explore together with the exhibitors, the advantages and disadvantages of the different sterilization technologies.
But the power of drinktec is to be found not only conversation with the exhibitors. The supporting program and the discussions with experts from the sector are also a valuable attraction. In the drinktec Forum, for example, experts from research and development will be giving their considered assessment of what the future holds for the sector. They will be presenting usable, practical solutions that point the way forward. Hygiene will also be a main focus in the drinktec Forum. Highly interesting of course for the all important filling technology and in particular for aseptic filling.
drinktec as a barometer of trends
“At drinktec in Munich, the future of our industry becomes visible,” says Professor Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer. “For this fair it not only a meeting place for customers and manufacturers, it is also a barometer of trends.” drinktec is very definitely a key event when it comes to filling technology—the visitors are sure of that. At the last drinkect 97 percent of the visitors gave top marks to the areas on containers, packaging and closures, and to filling and packaging technology.
21 Nov. 2016