Craft beer stepped out of the niche circle
During the National Day holiday just past, the schedule of craft beer lovers Abramovich was filled with craft beer festivals and music festivals all over the country, and these activities have only one thing in common-a glass of beer is inseparable.
”After drinking a craft beer with a mellow malt aroma, I won’t want to drink that industrial water beer again.” Abu was pleasantly surprised to find that besides his familiar IPA, white beer, etc., he was more diverse, local and even himself. Incomprehensible categories have appeared one after another, “For example, the sour taste of domestic fruit puree, local fruits, honey and even flowers can be delicious.”
Tai Ma, the host of a restaurant and bar in Chengdu who also participated in the Oktoberfest, spoke of domestic craft beer. The feeling of change is the most intuitive. “Before, the beer in the store was mainly imported crafts, and most of them sold for a glass of more than 60 yuan. Fewer people drank it. Now there are more and more domestic crafts, and the price can be up to about half the price. During peak seasons, you can drink about ten barrels a day in the store.”
Since the establishment of the first domestic craft beer factory, Gao Master in 2008, the domestic craft beer track has always been in a state of self-confidence. Until 2017, the craft beer Beer has gradually stepped out of the “comfort zone”. Industrial and commercial statistics show that only three years ago, there were fewer than 2,000 companies on the craft beer track; by 2021, this number has increased by 2.5 times. Only in the first half of this year, domestic craft beer There are 600 new beer companies.
The craft beer that is on the rise is quite different from the industrial beer we are familiar with. The concept of craft beer originated from the United States. Compared with industrial beer, craft beer has strict materials, long fermentation time, high cost but limited mass production, creating a mellow flavor different from industrial beer.
According to Ma Chao, partner of Chongqing Seventeen Craft Brewing Company, it is also grain brewing. Craft beer has higher requirements for malt, hops, and yeast to increase the original wort concentration; from the perspective of the brewing process, craft beer is also more refined. Craft beer generally uses the Ayer process of upper fermentation, and the fermentation time is about 1 month, and the flavor is more intense; industrial beer generally uses the lower fermentation of the Lager process, and the fermentation time is only about 7 days, and the fermentation will not be particularly sufficient. As a result, the concentration of wort is low, and the flavor is more simple. It is mainly used to quench thirst, so it is called industrial water beer in the industry.
Under the influence of the wave of consumption upgrades, Ayer Beer, which has a richer taste and a long history, “anti-kills” the latecomer Lager Beer, which is regarded as another blue ocean after the new tea and coffee.
According to data from third-party research institutions such as Zheshang Securities, in terms of market size, new tea drinks will reach 83.1 billion yuan in 2020, the coffee market will exceed 300 billion yuan, and craft beer is expected to reach about 875 by 2025. The market size of 100 million yuan.
Although the market continues to heat up, it does not mean that the craftsmanship track has matured. Different from the low threshold of new tea and coffee, and limited by factors such as channels, output, and cost, independent craft beer manufacturers are still in the “artisan era”, with a market penetration rate of less than 3%, making it difficult to grow bigger and stronger.
In addition to the expansion of the market, what makes small craft brewers more vigilant is the entry of beer giants. Now that the Chinese industrial beer market is saturated, craft beer, as a supplement to the market, has higher market competitiveness and broad development space. The head brewery regards this track as the optimal route for product transformation and upgrading— -Budweiser Group previously acquired craft beer brands such as Goose Island and Boxing Cat; Carlsberg took a stake in the craft beer company Jing A; China Resources Beer acquired multiple high-end beer brands under Heineken through the acquisition of Heineken’s China business; Qingdao Beer and Zhujiang Beer have also launched high-end products in categories such as IPA and Pearson…In contrast, independent wineries are not only at a disadvantage in channel promotion, but also in cost control capabilities, and expansion is very slow.
Domestic beer production declined year by year after peaking in 2013
Domestic beer production declined year by year after peaking in 2013
Price increase and upgrade, big manufacturers have no choice
The veteran breweries that are eager to get rid of the impression of “water beer” are also “forced” by the iteration of the consumer market and upstream costs.
2013 was a turning point for the entire beer industry. In that year, my country’s industrial beer manufacturers succumbed to volume, and their output reached a peak of 50.62 million kiloliters. The average Chinese per capita can drink 37.4 liters of beer a year, which is more than 100 cans. Canned. However, in the seven years since then, per capita beer consumption has continued to decline, and beer production and sales have also fallen by 30%.
Why is the beer not fragrant? Mainly because of the shrinkage of consumer groups and changes in consumer concepts.
Recalling the history of beer development in different countries, it is inevitable that the peak sales will fall. The developed countries experienced the same situation as early as decades ago. To explore its root causes, although national conditions are different, the main contradiction is the change of population structure.
Because the main group of beer consumption is positioned at the age of 15-64 and has certain requirements for metabolic capacity, beer sales depend to a large extent on the size and proportion of the labor force, which is a typical demographic dividend industry.
The proportion of the working-age population aged 15 to 64 in my country has gradually declined since 2012, and the total labor force has also entered a downward channel after reaching its peak in 2018. Correspondingly, domestic beer production and sales have unilaterally declined year by year after reaching a peak in 2013.
According to the latest census data released this year, the population aged 15-59 accounted for 63.35%, which was 6.79 percentage points lower than in 2010. The increase in domestic aging is inevitable.
For the beer industry, this is obviously not good news.
At the same time, as people’s health awareness increases and per capita income increases, consumers’ new concept of “drinking less and drinking better” has also prompted brands to launch high-end products with better taste and exquisite packaging.
In addition to the reasons why the demand side changes and forced product upgrades, the pressure of rising prices of upstream raw materials has also prompted beer manufacturers to launch more profitable products. Take Chongqing Beer as an example. In 2020, its raw material costs account for about 31% of beer prices, of which packaging material costs account for about 76% of raw materials and 21.3% of beer prices. Since the beginning of this year, the prices of upstream raw materials such as glass have continued to rise, and it is not ruled out that the cost will continue to increase.
Manufacturers whose profit margins are constantly being compressed, no matter how good at returning bottles and reducing costs, if they cannot rely on price increases and increase the overall gross profit margin, industrial beer brands will not escape the fate of “losing money and earning yells”.
It is precisely for the above reasons that the top five wineries (China Resources Snow, Qingdao, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Yanjing, and Carlsberg) that have seized 80% of the domestic market through price wars have all focused on volume and profit since 2017. Increased and continued to increase the size of high-end products, and began to enter the stage of normalized price increases.
High-end products launched by some brands
Increase in raw material costs and reduce profit margins
Still need to be calm above the tuyere
However, compared with the huge profits brought by high-end liquor to wine companies, the high-end beer industry has not progressed smoothly. The reason is that beer has a weak gift attribute and high consumption frequency, and it is impossible to increase the price indefinitely like liquor.
According to industry insiders, it is generally believed that beer above 10 yuan is considered high-end, and above 15 yuan is ultra-high-end. If it exceeds consumer psychological expectations too much, it will be suspected of harvesting IQ tax.
For example, in May of this year, Snow Beer, a subsidiary of China Resources, launched the ultra-high-end beer “Li”, priced at about 500 yuan per bottle. After being on the shelves, not only the sales were bleak, but also the netizens regarded it as “there is no Moutai’s life, and the “mao disease””. In fact, in recent years, in addition to Snow Beer, other beer manufacturers have also put on the shelves high-end new products for hundreds of dollars. Before the launch of the Lihe, Tsingtao Brewery launched the Hundred Years Journey series. The price of a bottle of the regular version is about 388 yuan, and the limited edition of the Year of the Ox is 669 yuan. The sales volume is not as good as the snow box.
“It’s understandable to want to raise the price of beer through high-end beer, but it is indeed wishful thinking to get beer with the collection value of white wine.” Taima said bluntly, if it is a business banquet or gift-giving occasion, he would still choose high-end white wine or red wine. It is not a craft beer with a shelf life of up to two years.
The root cause is the current dilemma of craft beer-consumers’ perception of it still overlaps with industrial beer. This is also the main reason why the pub world “Pinduoduo” Helens, where the average beer price does not exceed 10 yuan, was able to raise funds and go public, while the independent craft brewery can only be a corner. Starting from this direction, manufacturers still need to strengthen market education, use various channels to strengthen communication, strengthen the professional image of craft beer, and at the same time acquire new fans.
The second is the full coverage of the scene. Although it is temporarily unable to enter business banquets and other occasions, going deep into bars, competitions, new catering and other channels can still seize a part of the foreign wine and low-alcohol liquor market, and independent wineries can also exert their personalized strengths. .
”In 2020, high-end beer sales accounted for about 2.4% of the total beer sales. Although there is a three-fold increase compared to 2015, compared with the United States in the same period, the future market share of craft brewing can increase to 15%, 4-5 The room for improvement is still considerable.” Although Fu Rong, an analyst in the food and beverage industry of Guosheng Securities, is optimistic about the changes in the beer industry structure, he is also worried about the current situation of the industry. “With the accelerated development of the domestic beer industry, the craft beer industry has also arrived. When it is necessary to’be liberalized and strictly regulated,’ to avoid the craft beer industry from becoming a flash in the pan in the early stages of the boom.”