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CHINA SURPASSED U.S. AS BUDWEISER'S BIGGEST MARKET DESPITE THE TRADE WAR

By Susan Lewis

14-9-2018




Despite the on-going trade war between USA and China, the Amercian beer Budweiser is selling more beer in China than in its home country, according to the BeverageDaily.

China is now officially the biggest market of Budweiser, owned by beer giant AB InBev. Chinese drinkers are consuming more Budweiser than any other country in the world.

According to BeverageDaily, in 2000, domestic beer comprised nearly 88 percent of total beer consumption in USA. By 2017, that number plummeted to less than 68 percent. Sales of foreign imports and craft beers jumped from 12 percent to 32 percent in the same period.

In China, young adults in have more disposable income than their parents did, allowing millennial drinkers to “upgrade from cheap Chinese beer to the more expensive foreign imports,” reported BeverageDaily.

A report from Rabobank, a multinational financial services firm based in the Netherlands, details that as Americans give up domestic brands like Budweiser for imported brands like Coroner, the same is happening in China, as well as around the world.

Francois Sonneville, senior beverages analyst at Rabobank, points to migration, expanded beer options, and global brand presence for the shift.

“Whether it is nostalgia for a beer drank back home or on holiday, or a longing for a product with authenticity of a country far away, consumers see foreign beer as a premium product,” Sonneville writes.

Keen to make a big splash in China, beer giants AB InBev, which owns Budweiser and Heineken, are investing heavily in the Chinese market.

AB InBev reported an 18.6% share in the Chinese beer market in 2016. Budweiser was the fifth top-selling beer in China last year with a 3.6% share of the market. Snow, the lager brewed by state-backed China Resources Beer Holdings, is the top-selling beer in China at the moment with a 24% share of the market.

Heineken recently signed a strategic partnership with domestic beer manufacturer China Resourcse Beer (CR Beer) to make inroads into China market.

(the writer can be contacted at: SusanLewis@thewinechronicle.com)

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