On March 14, a reporter from Beijing business daily learned that China Resources snowflake beer (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “China Resources snowflake”) announced the official launch of its new product “small beer”. This product has the same name as the low alcohol juice bubble beer launched by Zhujiang Beer in 2016, but the new product of China Resources snowflake does not contain alcohol. This is the first carbonated beverage product launched by China Resources snowflake, and also its first juice beverage product. Huarun snowflake said that Xiaopi steam is a new track opened up by snowflake beer, and also an important part of snowflake beer’s high-end and young layout.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that beer companies cross the border to make drinks. With the change of consumption habits and consumption scenarios, Tsingtao beer, Heineken beer and other beer companies have arranged the beverage market one after another. In this regard, industry insiders said that in the case of volume decline and price rise, the layout of high-end and personalized beer has become the choice of many wine enterprises, while the beverage business is only an additional product of the development of wine enterprises, which is difficult to become the mainstream of beer enterprises.
Non alcoholic drinks become popular
It is reported that Huarun’s new product “small beer” looks similar to beer’s color and foam, but also contains malt and hops. This time, China Resources snowflake launched three specifications, 330ml can, 500ml can and 500ml bottle. Canning is mainly used for non drinking channels, while bottled is mainly used for drinking channels. At present, “Xiaopi steam” has not been listed on major e-commerce platforms.
The fruit flavored carbonated beverage “Xiaopi Qi” launched by China Resources snowflake also has a long layout. In October last year, China Resources snowflake once said at the first National Channel Partner Conference of snowflake beer that the consumer demand of the new generation has changed and more attention has been paid to low sugar, healthy and light drinking. Therefore, China Resources snowflake will meet the needs of young people and actively arrange more categories, such as alcohol free beer, beverage wine, etc.
Coincidentally, in 2020, Budweiser launched a non-alcoholic beverage bud zero, which contains no sugar and only 46 calories, 330 ml per bottle. Carlsberg launched Carlsberg Nordic, a non-alcoholic Pilsen beer brand in the UK. The Korean distributor of Tsingtao beer, Becky company, has launched an alcohol free Tsingtao beer brand called “Tsingtao alcohol free”.
In China, more and more beer enterprises begin to focus on the beverage market. As early as 2016, Yanjing Beer targeted the post-90s and post-00s and launched instant tea beverage “tea Xiaosheng”, which was mainly sold in campus channels. In 2019, Tsingtao Beer announced the launch of a prince seaweed soda, which is a marine health drink. In 2020, Zhujiang Beer will introduce non-alcoholic pineapple? It’s a delicious drink.
According to the latest “strategic study on non-alcoholic / low alcoholic beverages in 2021” released by IWSR, the share of non-alcoholic / low alcoholic beverages in the whole alcoholic beverage market will reach 3% in 2020. It is estimated that the global sales of non-alcoholic / low alcoholic beverages will increase by 34% compared with the same period in history by 2024.
In February 2020, Tsingtao Beer issued an announcement to add soda water and other drinks into the company’s business scope, and amended the terms of business scope recorded in the articles of association. It is understood that Tsingtao Beer said that it will continue to develop more new categories such as pet soda water and soda water in glass bottles.
Cross border targeting of beverage market dividend
According to the data released by the National Bureau of statistics, in 2019, China’s beverage retail sales reached 209.9 billion yuan, a cumulative increase of 10.4%; in 2020, China’s beverage retail sales reached 229.4 billion yuan, a cumulative increase of 14% compared with the same period last year. Among them, the total output of carbonated drinks in 2020 will reach 1971.33 million tons, a cumulative increase of 4.7%.
Compared with a booming beverage market, the beer market is slightly depressed. According to the data released by the National Bureau of statistics, China’s beer production from 2018 to 2020 was 38.1224 million kiloliters, 37.653 million kiloliters and 34.1111 million kiloliters respectively, with a year-on-year decrease of 13.4%, 1.23% and 7.04% respectively. In addition, according to the published 2020 performance report of liquor enterprises, Qingdao beer will achieve a total revenue of 27.76 billion yuan in 2020, a year-on-year decline of 0.8%; Lanzhou Huanghe is expected to have a net loss of 29 million yuan to 32 million yuan in 2020.
Industry insiders said that the current beer market is somewhat saturated, beer consumption lacks growth momentum, and production and sales show a downward trend. If liquor enterprises want to develop, they need to find new business increments and open up more paths. Compared with other fields, it is more feasible to expand into the beverage industry. From the perspective of sales channels, beverage and beer are also similar.
Zhu danpeng, an analyst of China’s food industry, said that heavy consumers of beer and beverages are young people. The layout of beverage business in the beer industry is in line with consumers’ consumption thinking and logic, and has the function of killing two birds with one stone. In addition, the current decline in beer market volume and rise in price are all seeking medium and high-end, personalized strategic transformation. The layout of beverage market naturally becomes the foothold of beer enterprise transformation.
It’s still hard to support the future of beer
According to the research report released by the International Institute of wine and spirits in June 2020, non-alcoholic beer is expected to grow by nearly 50% in the next five years. In addition, Euromonitor data shows that in 2019, China’s total retail sales of non-alcoholic beer will be 579 million yuan.
He Yong, Secretary General of China Liquor Industry Association and chairman of beer branch, believes that the layout of beverage market by beer enterprises is not cross-border. Beer and drinks are interlinked in the world. Before that, some brewers such as Budweiser and Heineken launched non-alcoholic drinks one after another. For beer enterprises, beverage business has a unique advantage. In the production mode, brewery equipment, water, and even by-product carbon dioxide can be used in beverage production. Mature production conditions can greatly improve production efficiency and control product quality. In terms of channels, the sales and circulation of beer and drinks are also very similar.
In view of the development of non-alcoholic beverages in China, industry insiders believe that the products need to establish a strong viscous consumer group, so as to promote the brand building and expansion, and carry out scene education for consumers, such as drinking non-alcoholic beverages in some light social occasions and family dinner healthy drinking occasions. At the same time, we should pay attention to quality and retain consumers in terms of quality and taste.
He Yong believes that the main battlefield of beer enterprises is still the beer itself. In the case of falling volume and rising price, the layout of high-end and diversified beer has become the choice of many wine enterprises, while the beverage business is only a profit growth point of wine enterprises and an additional product of the development of wine enterprises, which is difficult to become the mainstream of beer enterprises.
Beijing Business Daily reporter Zhao Fengrui
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