The beer category in China recorded a rebound in total volume sales in 2021, although the level of sales was unable to return to that seen before the pandemic, in 2019. This performance hinted at the start of the category’s recovery from the pandemic, as in 2021 people were generally out of lockdowns, and most on-trade businesses reopened.
The leaders in the beer category in China remained unchanged in 2021. China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co Ltd continued to lead.
The beer category recorded double-digit total current value growth in 2021, due to both the premiumisation trend and price increases. China has entered an era where manufacturers are focusing more on value sales than volume growth.
Over the forecast period, total volume sales of beer are expected to be fairly static. There are two significant reasons for the limited growth potential of the category.
In 2021, although still only accounting for a negligible share of total beer volumes, craft beer recorded double-digit growth. While industrial beer production has been experiencing a decline for several consecutive years, craft beer has witnessed a rising trend.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, beer production in China has recorded consecutive years of decline, and in 2021 continued to follow a downwards trend. Product price increases started the first wave of premiumisation in the beer category.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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