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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.

India. Under Michael Jensen, Carlsberg has more than doubled its business

For 54-year-old Michael Jensen, who heads Carlsberg in India, it's not easy to sell products that mostly appeal to consumers half his age. Yet, in his three-year stint as the chief executive of the Danish brewer in India, he has managed to more than double the business to exceed Rs 1,000 crore in calender year 2015.

jensen"It's not difficult if you are little young at heart. But you want to remind yourself constantly that what I know might not be what other people want. So listen to consumers," said Jensen. So far, he has his ears to ground. For a man with an MSc in Marketing, Market Analysis and Consumer Behaviour and another in International Business, Trade, and Tax Law, that shouldn't be difficult, even if the country is as diverse as India.

Unlike most other markets, where Carlsberg's top seller is the milder version of lager, Jensen has been focusing on brands such as Tuborg Strong and Elephant in India because strong beer accounts for 80% of country's overall sales volume of 300 million cases.

His bet seems to be paying off — while the Copenhagen headquartered firm is still a fifth in size compared to Heineken-owned United Breweries in India, the company has managed to take its share to nearly 16% of the market from about 6% five years ago. And Tuborg is the largest premium international beer brand in the country.

Carlsberg is the third largest player in India, trailing market leader United Breweries which has 51% share and SabMiller with 23% share of the market. But in a country that, for the past three years, have seen tipplers sobering up and market growth slowing to 5%, Carlsberg has been growing by more than 40% each year. The company attributed the growth to focus on key markets, especially cities, keeping its brand portfolio limited and expanding its manufacturing footprint.

"We have doubled our reach to 40,000 outlets but have kept our focus on top 140 cities. By forgeting the rest, you can concentrate on offering coolers and use of signboards in a better way," said Jensen.

The parent company in its long term strategy — Sail 22 — has identified China, India and Vietnam as key drivers for growth. This fuels Carlberg's aggressive expansion — it now has seven breweries on ground and 2 co-packers in India.

The alcoholic beverages industry in India is heavily regulated, with excise and other taxes forming an important source of revenue for state governments. In states that collectively account for 70% of the industry's revenue, the government controls manufacturing, distribution, retailing and pricing of liquor. This makes it difficult for most companies to make higher profits.

For instance, a 650 ml bottle of Carlsberg costs Rs 60 in the western coastal state of Goa but in West Bengal, it sells for Rs 130 and in Maharashtra, Goa's bigger neighbour, its retails at Rs 160. While the industry has been lobbying to sort the multiplicity of tax issues with the government, Jensen likes to deal with it in his own Danish way. "I grab a cold beer and put my feet up. The world suddenly becomes far better."

19 Авг. 2016

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