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.
Portinox. Quality as the base of the keg market leadership
Over the recent years, company THIELMANN PORTINOX has been demonstrating an exiting development dynamics considering both the introduction of advanced technological processes and sales volumes. Having started its operation as a small Spanish plant in 1965, PORTINOX has become one of the key members of THIELMANN CONTAINER SYSTEMS, the Business Unit Containers of the Teka Group. Eventually, it has become the world leader in production of beverage kegs. Millions of kegs being used all over the world are the best proof for the highest level of the designing and producing processes and, inevitably, of the absolute keg reliability.
Guillermo Rueda, Corporate Commercial & Marketing Director of the company joined us to answer current questions on THIELMANN PORTINOX
What is the position of your company in the world keg producers' ranking?
Due to our production capacity and the strategic location of our production plants, at present we are the biggest producer in the world, with a real production capacity of over 2.5 millions kegs per year.
What plants produce kegs which are then supplied to Russia?
We are delivering from the biggest keg manufacturing plant in the world, which is located in Granada, Spain.
Being a major keg producer you probably have detailed data concerning the damage sources which mostly affect kegs. Do you manage to minimize them by design solutions?
n THIELMANN PORTINOX we put a lot of effort in designing our products for minimizing future damages. The dimple design promotes resistance to impact and compression, and even if the chime is bent, the keg is still valid.
Which technologies are used at your production sites? How important are such processes as pressing, welding and grinding for the product performance and drink quality?
1. Standard Deep Drawn with quick presses to improve stainless steel main features against hits, extending therefore the life of the keg.
2. Two-step deep drawn to be able to produce tall containers with small diameters.
3. Last generation TIG and MIG/MAG welding, always with internal gas protection in order to achieve the best internal keg quality.
4. Final chemical processes guarantee that the beverages won’t change taste even from first filling of the keg.
5. Different laser etching possibilities such as customer branding and logos, matrix and barcodes,…
6. Paint customization of the keg.
7. RFID tags for tracking purposes.
8. Leak detection by Helium test specifically designed and exclusive from us. No other competitor can detect such small leaks.
9. We don’t grind the keg, we immerse the keg in a pickling bath which cleans the keg completely both internally and externally.
Your production is known for control over keg quality. Please, tell us what parameters are controlled, and what they mean for the keg reliability?
Leak detection with Helium provides us with an extremely high reliability. Leakage that we are able to detect and reject wouldn’t even be noticed by our customers as they are very small and would be covered by beer or CO2 molecules. We are seeking new applications for artificial vision cameras which allow us to revise welding in real time.
How much do your technology and the quality control of kegs prolong their in-service life as compared to the average one of other kegs which can be bought on Russian market?
We are strongly committed to improve every day our own internal processes, so we prefer not to talk about others. Our challenge: Permanent research.
Pitfalls what should you keep in mind when buying used imported kegs
- Resistance of the domes
- External image of your product
- Shorter life cycle, what means less value for money.
- Possible branding from different competitors, what means not suitable image in the market.
- Straightness of the neck