China beer consumption on the increase

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th June 2012

The latest beer research from global market researcher Mintel shows that China’s taste for beer has increased significantly in the last five years. China’s beer market reached an all-time peak with a total volume of 50 billion litres consumed in 2011.

The market grew 63% during the last five years and reached a total market value last year of RMB 454 billion. According to Mintel, this increase is due to consumers drinking more higher-value beer.

Matthew Crabbe, director of China research at Mintel, said, “China is where the leading multinational brewing groups are hoping to make the most growth these days. With continued rapid rises in average incomes and the general feel-good factor about China’s continued economic growth, consumers are not only drinking more beer, but are also beginning to drink more expensive beer.”

Mintel’s research found that lager now accounts for RMB 410 billion, draught for RMB 42 billion and other beers for RMB 2 billion.

Mr Crabbe said, “While the market is booming, brewers need to compete more cleverly in order to engage with key consumer groups in China who will be key purchasers in the coming years, including the youth and women’s markets, as well as connoisseur drinkers of premium beers.”

China’s total beer consumption, 50 billion litres in volume, is significantly greater than that of the other markets in the top five: the U.S., at 24 billion litres; Brazil at 14 billion litres; and Russia and Germany both at nine billion litres. In comparison, Australia’s total beer consumption in 2011 was two billion litres.