Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

China Beer Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Beer market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Market size is based on retail (off-trade) and non-retail (ontrade and food industry) sales. When it comes to the retail market, fermented beer, lager, stout brewed from cereal and flavoured with hops and low/no-alcohol beers are included.

The market segmentation is based on beer ABV (Alcohol by Volume):

  • Strong: 5.0% and above
  • Standard: ABV: 2.6%-4.9%
  • Light/No/Low alcohol: ABV 0%-2.5%

For the non-retail market, beer sales from all catering institutions that serve beer are included. All beer supplied as an ingredient to food manufacturers and other processors to be made into other products is also included.

Cider is excluded from calculating the market sizes in this report

Key points included

  • Local giants can think about collaboration with foreign brands
  • Craft beer has to engage consumers by building the culture
  • Use seasonal products or limited editions to drive consumer curiosity

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Bella Li, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

To some extent, Chinese consumers are interested to know how to evaluate beer. They have begun to taste the beer and pay attention to the flavour of the beer, not just as a simple food companion. For beer companies, how to grasp this change to communicate with consumers on beer culture through product development, marketing and retail channels is particularly important to take the lead. Bella Li
Food & Drink Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Retail volume will decline in the next five years
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast for beer, by retail volume, China, 2013-23
              • Premiumisation trend may sustain retail value growth
                • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case forecast for beer, by retail value, China, 2013-23
              • Companies and brands
                • Top brands retain leading positions
                  • Figure 3: Companies’ shares of the retail value market, China, 2016 and 2017
                • AB InBev communicates beer culture through various channels
                  • Microbreweries personalise craft beer for Chinese consumers
                    • The consumer
                      • More than half of consumers are interested in trying craft beer
                        • Figure 4: Penetration of regular and craft beer, China, September 2018
                      • Leading brands retain high brand penetration
                        • Figure 5: Selected brands’ penetration, China, September 2018
                      • Food companion is the main role for beer
                        • Figure 6: Beer’s consumption occasions, China, September 2018
                      • Brand acts as a quality assurance
                        • Figure 7: Primary factors consumers value when choosing beer, China, September 2018
                      • Beer from Germany, US and Japan has the most penetration
                        • Figure 8: Origin of beer consumed, China, September 2018
                      • Craft beer is a symbol of premium beer in consumers’ perspective
                        • Figure 9: Perceptions of craft beer, China, September 2018
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Local giants can think about collaboration with foreign brands
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Craft beer has to engage consumers by building the culture
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 10: Pictures of Goose Island craft beer and store style on dianping.com
                                  • Use seasonal products or limited editions to drive consumer curiosity
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Figure 11: Beer in Japan with claim on limited edition or seasonal – with the seasonal theme
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Market volume will not grow in tandem with market value
                                        • Build the culture to make consumers appreciate the taste
                                          • Strong beer will be the future opportunity to drive more value
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Retail volume will decrease at a slow rate
                                              • Figure 12: Best- and worst-case forecast for beer, by retail volume, China, 2013-23
                                            • Hopefully the retail market value will continue its growth
                                              • Figure 13: Best- and worst-case forecast for beer, by retail value, China, 2013-23
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Local leading brands are speeding up the premiumisation
                                              • Communication on beer culture and understanding more of tasting beer
                                                • Figure 14: Tsingtao’s tasting tips for wheat beer, China, 2018
                                              • Relaxed regulations on imported beer bring more choice to the market
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                • Acceleration in new product launches for strong beer
                                                  • Figure 15: Proportion of new beer product launches, by segment, China, 2013-18 (Nov)
                                                  • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case forecast for strong beer, by retail value, China, 2013-23
                                                • Premiumisation and target marketing push standard beer to grow
                                                  • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecast for standard beer, by retail value, China, 2013-23
                                                • Slow growth in light beer
                                                  • Figure 18: Best- and worst-case forecast for light beer, by retail value, China, 2013-23
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • Leading players continue dominating the market
                                                  • Mergers and acquisitions will be the future trend in this market
                                                    • Innovation in packaging and functional beer for more occasions
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • Leaders retain their leading status in the market
                                                        • Figure 19: Companies’ shares of the retail value market, China, 2016 and 2017
                                                      • AB InBev penetrates the market through various channels
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Local brands are updating their premium product profile
                                                          • Figure 20: Tsingtao’s Augerta beer uses premium claims to connect with consumers, China, 2018
                                                          • Figure 21: Pure draft beer by Snow has been repackaged to Jiang Xin Ying Zao, China, 2018
                                                        • Budweiser disseminates beer culture through immersive theatre play
                                                          • Figure 22: Budweiser’s beer-themed theatre play "Finding Mr. X", China, 2017
                                                        • Microbreweries attract consumers by utilising local ingredients
                                                          • Figure 23: Examples of beer brewed with Chinese ingredients, 2018
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Open with lid could bring new experience to beer drinking
                                                          • Figure 24: Harbin launched Jing Xue Ice with pulled ring, China, 2018
                                                          • Figure 25: Mike Hess Brewing’s open mike cans with pull-off lid
                                                        • Beer advent calendars for holiday gifting
                                                          • Figure 26: Examples of beer advent calendars in Austria, Netherlands and the UK, 2018
                                                        • Niche flavours through cross-category collaboration on beer brewing
                                                          • Figure 27: Examples of cross-category collaboration beer, US, 2018
                                                        • High-protein beer for post-workout gym-goers
                                                          • Figure 28: Examples of beer with high protein
                                                        • Opportunity for new retail for beer
                                                          • Figure 29: Ab InBev’s demo of an unmanned beer store, China, 2018
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Beer is still mainly seen as a food companion
                                                          • Lower brand loyalty but brand valued as an indicator of quality
                                                            • Craft beer can try more to penetrate into tier two and three cities
                                                            • Penetration of Regular and Craft Beer

                                                              • Stable usage of beer between 2017 and 2018
                                                                • Figure 30: Penetration of beer, China, 2017 and 2018
                                                              • Male and female craft beer core users vary by age
                                                                • Figure 31: Penetration of regular and craft beer, by age and gender, China, September 2018
                                                              • Craft beer is better accepted in tier one cities, not surprisingly
                                                                • Figure 32: Penetration of craft beer, by city tiers, China, September 2018
                                                              • White-collar workers are potential key consumers for craft beer
                                                                • Figure 33: Penetration of craft beer, selected, by employment, China, September 2018
                                                            • Brand Penetration

                                                              • Leaders are always leaders and even become stronger
                                                                • Figure 34: Selected brands’ penetration, China, September 2018
                                                              • Income level is the determining factor of consumers’ brand choice
                                                                • Figure 35: Selected brands’ penetration, by household income level, China, September 2018
                                                              • Regional brands execute great influence in their own battlefield
                                                                • Figure 36: Selected brands’ penetration, by region, China, September 2018
                                                              • Beer drinkers in their 40s skew towards one type of beer brand
                                                                • Figure 37: Numbers of beer brands consumers have tried, selected, by age, China, September 2018
                                                            • Drinking Occasions

                                                              • Food companion as the main role for beer
                                                                • Figure 38: Beer’s consumption occasions, China, September 2018
                                                              • Entertainment pulls beer consumption more in tier one cities
                                                                • Figure 39: Beer’s consumption occasions, selected, by city tier, China, September 2018
                                                              • More occasions to drink for young female consumers
                                                                • Figure 40: Beer’s consumption occasions, repertoire, selected, by age and gender, China, September 2018
                                                            • Factors Influencing Purchase Decision

                                                              • Brand is the guarantee for quality when purchasing beer
                                                                • Figure 41: Primary factors consumers value when choosing beer, China, September 2018
                                                              • Focus on brand as a primary factor declines while age decreases
                                                                • Figure 42: Factors consumers value when choosing beer, selected, by age, China, September 2018
                                                              • Attention to ingredients shows interests in different beer styles
                                                                • Figure 43: Secondary factors consumers value when choosing beer, China, September 2018
                                                              • 20-39-year-olds differentiate beer style by ingredients used
                                                                • Figure 44: Factors consumers value when choosing beer, ingredients, by age, China, September 2018
                                                              • Indication from non-top factors
                                                              • Preference of Origin

                                                                • German beer is the most popular, followed by the US and Japan
                                                                  • Figure 45: Origin of beer consumed, China, September 2018
                                                                  • Figure 46: Examples of claims used by German beer brands
                                                                  • Figure 47: Special brewing method used by Pilsner Urquell from Czech Republic
                                                                  • Figure 48: Example of product emphasising its origin and uniqueness, China, 2017
                                                                • Foreign beer has high penetration in South and North
                                                                  • Figure 49: Usage of beer from selected origins, by region, China, September 2018
                                                              • Perceptions of Craft Beer

                                                                • Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for craft beer
                                                                  • Figure 50: Perceptions of craft beer, China, September 2018
                                                                  • Figure 51: Example of differentiation of craft beer and regular beer by Urbrew
                                                                • A definition of craft beer can help with long-term market growth
                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                  • Higher interest in Carlsberg and Budweiser
                                                                    • Figure 52: Selected brands’ penetration, by consumer segmentation, China, September 2018
                                                                  • MinTs pay more attention to ingredients used in beer
                                                                    • Figure 53: Primary factors consumers value when choosing beer, by consumer segmentation, China, September 2018
                                                                    • Figure 54: Secondary factors consumers value when choosing beer, by consumer segmentation, China, September 2018
                                                                  • MinTs are active in trying beer from different brands
                                                                    • Figure 55: Numbers of beer brands consumers have tried, selected, by consumer segmentation, China, September 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Figure 56: Value sales of China’s beer retail market, 2013-23
                                                                    • Figure 57: Volume sales of China’s beer retail market, 2013-23
                                                                • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                    • Figure 58: Value sales of China’s beer retail market, by segment, 2013-23
                                                                    • Figure 59: Volume sales of China’s beer retail market, by segment, 2013-23
                                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Abbreviations