Beer - China - May 2012
“China represents the world’s biggest beer market, but it is still growing much more rapidly than other developed national markets, and its importance to the global beer industry is evidenced by the increasing significance placed on China by the world’s leading beer companies. The growth potential of the market is still great, given relatively low per capita consumption, but raising that consumption requires competing brands to engage ever more closely with Chinese consumers and their varied and rapidly changing lifestyles."
– Matthew Crabbe – Asia-Pacific Research Director
Some questions answered in this report include:
- In such a large beer market as China, is there still room for per capita growth and where is that growth to be found?
- What are the obstacles to achieving greater growth from competition with other beverage sectors for share of glass, both through retail and catering outlets?
- To what degree are the opportunities and obstacles to beer market growth affected by regional market variations in China?
- How has product innovation been adapting to the opportunities and obstacles in the market in order to create new consumer interest?
- How are beer companies innovating to engage with Chinese consumers, and which consumer groups are they focusing on?
China represents the world’s biggest beer market, but it is still growing much more rapidly than other developed national markets, and its importance to the global beer industry is evidenced by the increasing significance placed on China by the world’s leading beer companies. The growth potential of the market is still great, given relatively low per capita consumption, but raising that consumption requires competing brands to engage ever more closely with Chinese consumers and their varied and rapidly changing lifestyles.
There remains strong potential for developing volume per capita consumption among key consumer groups, including youth consumers and women, while older consumers are showing an increasing propensity towards buying more premium beers, thus adding more value to the market. There are also strong regional differences in beer consumption patterns that csn be tapped into to release as yet undeveloped market potential.
Similarly, there are differences in on- and off-trade consumption indicating the opportunities to develop greater home consumption of beer, and that the potential of this home consumption market has strong links with the continued strong seasonality in beer-consuming patterns in China. More targeted engagement with consumers can develop greater consumption at home (which lags behind on-trade beer drinking) and during colder months, when beer consumption is significantly lower than during warmer months.
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