Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, the world’s biggest brewer by sales, is optimistic about maintaining double-digit growth in sales of its super premium brands in China this year, given that strong demand for its products continues to increase, a top executive said in an interview. “We see an obvious trend for consumers who want more from the beer market in China, especially in the south and in the first-tier cities…Full Article: China Daily Jan 2017

Key Point

  • From 2014 to 2015, according to a Beijing beer analyst, China’s total beer sales volume declined 4.9% while sales of premium and ‘super’ premium beer rose by 9% and 17%, respectively. At the time, low to mid-range (quality) beers comprise 80% of the Chinese market sales.

ChinaAg Comments

  • As of October 2016, China reportedly had more than 3,000 craft beer breweries, which in turn accounted for less than 3% of the country’s total beer output/sales. Key cities for the craft beer industry include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha, and Lijiang. Shanghai has approximately 200 different types of craft beer that range in price from CNY 30 to CNY 100 per liter [~US$4.40 to US$14.75].
  • As of 2015, China Resources Beer had 98 breweries, with “Snow Beer” as its best-selling brand.
  • In November 2015, according to a Carlsberg China representative, the company intends to close Chongqing Beer breweries in Anhui and Zhejiang provinces, eastern China.
  • In October 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV agreed to purchase SABMiller for US$104.2 billion.
  • As of mid-2015, the most widely consumed Belgian beers in China were Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Duvel.
  • In 2014, China’s beer production declined (by 2.7%) for the first time in 24 years. At the same time, China Resources’ Snow Breweries had a 23.8% market share (by volume) in China, followed by Tsingtao Brewery’s Tsingtao Beer at 18.4%, Anheuser-Busch InBev at 14.3%, Beijing Yanjing Brewery at 12.3%, and Carlsberg Group at 7.5%.
  • In 1998, China overtook Germany as the number two consumer of beer, and passed the United States as the top consumer in 2002.

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