Increasing affinity for craft beer: Craft beer is a trend fast catching up in China. The trend is not just restricted to Shanghai and Beijing but also spreading to smaller cities. As mass-produced beers are reaching the point of diminishing returns in the country, craft beer has the potential to refresh China’s brewing industry. All key international players have entered the craft beer market which is being driven by the changing consumer preferences in the country.
Premiumization: This is the biggest upcoming trend in the Chinese beer market. Premiumization is being seen in the types of beers, be it new flavours, functional beers or limited-edition beers now available in the Chinese market. In 2018 & 2019, the total beer sales by volume was stagnating. However, the industry was recording noteworthy current value growth due to the by the premiumisation of the beer sector and the growing affinity sweet/fruit-flavoured beers. The younger, more affluent and evolved consumers in China are shifting towards more premium beers. The premium brands might yet not have large sales volume, but are strong in value terms.
Development of artisanal beers: In a bid to expand their product offering, large players in the China beer market are moving towards introducing artisanal beers. In 2018, AB InBev bought “Boxing Cat” in Shanghai.
Rising affinity for imported beers: There is growing affinity for imported beers which are being perceived as part of a modern lifestyle and a window to experience new flavours and brands.