Beer: A New Dawn Brewing

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Nov 2013

Global beer is going through a transformational period. Key categories are adapting to respond to maturity barriers, macroeconomic headwinds, the craft segment’s irreverent and seismic rise and the loss of share of throat to spirits and wine. As emerging markets are proving to be as profitable as they are volatile and mainstream brands’ dominance is put into question, pockets of value growth are difficult to locate, but are more important than ever.

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Beer: A New Dawn Brewing

Overall beer volumes continue motoring on

Beer sales continue to grow, although the category is losing share of volume to the more dynamic spirits and wine

Lager remains premiumisation-driven and by far the biggest category

While lager still dominates, interest in alternative types – especially dark beer – is gathering momentum, and other beers are even beginning to cannibalise lager sales in mature markets.

Dark beer is going through a transformational period

Largely outdated and out of touch economy ales are fading away at the same time that higher end offerings pioneered by craft brewers are reaching out to a younger, more adventurous demographic.

Stout’s travails are temporary

Macroeconomic headwinds in Ireland, US maturity and consumption shifts alongside security risks in Nigeria both hit global growth hard in 2012, but a reversal of the trend is within reach.

Craft enters the mainstream

While craft beer is becoming better established, the first whispers of the potential bursting of a bubble can already be heard in the markets that have spearheaded the trend, most notably the US and the UK.

Low-alcohol beer looks uninspiring

Sobering growth in low-alcohol beer masks the fact that there is nascent interest in the category, driven by radler-inspired launches and a healthier spin.

Non-alcoholic beer’s explosive boom appears to be slowing

Non-alcoholic beer retains its focus on religiously restrictive markets, where flavours and aspirational consumption continue driving sales, but is yet to make significant inroads in mature markets.

Asia Pacific will shape the industry’s future

While the region accounted for 36% of global beer volumes in 2012, this share is expected to rise significantly, to reach 40% by 2017.

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment



I ntroduction

Key findings

Global Beer

Global beer: A rising t ide against t he h eadwinds
Under lager’s shadow
Dynamics behind the on- and off-trade g rowth e quilibrium
Mature value versus emerging v olumes
Supermarkets, hypermarkets and discounters a dvance
Metal beverage cans and glass bottles retain dominance
Beer’s share of throat under pressure


Polarisation retains i ts g rip
US: A tentative, premiumisation-driven r ecovery
China: Less e xplosive, more s ustainable g rowth

Dark Beer

Old guard h aemorrhaging s ales, craft frothy
UK: A tale o f t wo a les


Stout: Current h iccups and future o pportunities
Nigeria: Temporary w eight o n s tout’s s houlders


Drivers behind the micro-fever
Crafting a w ay o ut o f s tagnation
US: Craft entering t he m ainstream
UK: Craft altering t he b eer l andscape
Craft taking o ver t he world?

Low-/Non-Alcohol Beer

Lower alcohol’s n iche potential
Iran’s non-alcoholic r evolution
Germany r ediscovering l ower a lcohol t raditions

T he Future

An uneven and precarious a dvance

The Future

Non-alcoholic d ynamism under lager’s shadow
Asia pacific r ising