The stabilisation of the economic situation in Azerbaijan in 2018 continued to support a recovery in total beer volume sales, which had dropped sharply over 2015-2016 due to currency devaluation. Beer consumption was further bolstered by unusually hot weather during the summer months and growth in inbound tourism.
Domestic economy lager was the most dynamic category in terms of total volume sales growth for the second year in a row in 2018. This was mainly due to the fact that many consumers remained highly budget-conscious despite the gradual improvement in economic conditions.
2018 saw Carlsberg launch two new brands in flavoured/mixed lager, Karmi Cherry Sensual and Seth & Riley's Garage. While flavoured/mixed lager remains a niche category in Azerbaijan, it has considerable potential for expansion.
Carlsberg Azerbaijan continued to dominate beer in 2018 with a broad and well-balanced portfolio, and recorded a healthy increase in its total volume sales share. Its domestic mid-priced lager Xirdalan remained the top brand in the category, and was also the best-selling alcoholic drinks brand overall in the country in volume terms.
One of the most effective competitive strategies in beer in Azerbaijan is to ensure that brands are widely available via key off- and on-trade distribution channels. Independent small grocers remained the most important off-trade distribution channel in 2018.
Ale, stout and weissbier/weizen/wheat beer remained niche categories in Azerbaijan in 2018. Demand continued to be constrained by the relatively high cost of these product types, with average unit prices being well above that for beer as a whole.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.