Wheat beer saw total volumes stagnate in 2021 following a marked fall in volume sales in the previous year. During the year, the category benefited from the increased availability of products such as Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, as well as the introduction of the new product variant, 1664 Rose, which offers “a hint of raspberry”.
The lockdown restrictions in place from June to August 2021 significantly impacted sales of the leading players, Heineken and Carlsberg, as breweries were closed. Restrictions also continued to exert a considerable negative impact on sales through foodservice outlets, with on-trade volume sales of beer continuing to decline, following the dramatic fall seen in the previous year.
With 2021 seeing more lockdowns than in 2020, e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada remained relevant as consumers consumed beer while staying at home. Although still a niche channel for beer, e-commerce has established a strong foothold in Malaysia and consumers are increasingly turning to purchasing beer online.
With the prevalence of the Omicron variant, the beginning of the forecast period is set to see continued purchasing of beer for home consumption from online retailers and supermarkets as consumers continue to stay at home. While restrictions are set to relax with higher vaccination rates, purchases from e-commerce platforms have provided consumers with convenience and lower price points, which are both set to be key factors supporting ongoing demand even as the threat from COVID-19 recedes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased concern about consumers’ own health and diet, with many using the opportunity of lockdown to review their eating and drinking habits. As a result, the trend of drinking non/low-alcohol beer, which was already seeing strong growth at the end of the review period, will continue to gain traction and popularity with a more curious consumer base increasingly pursuing the healthy living trend.
Manufacturers are likely to look to new look packaging and limited edition packaging in conjunction with events such as football seasons and festive seasons such as Chinese New Year to strengthen brand equity during the forecast period. For instance, Carlsberg is amongst the players that are launching limited edition packaging to attract consumers and provide a refreshing look so as to drive off-trade sales.
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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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