Demand for craft beer in China, which is already the biggest consumer of alcohol in the world, is at an all-time high and will make the country the biggest global drinker of beer in value terms this year, according research by Drink Sector.
In recent years, China relied on imports from large breweries, particularly those in Germany, which accounted for almost half of all beer imports.
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Demanding more beer
This trend, however, is declining now consumers are demanding more beer to be brewed by smaller producers both in and out of the country, according to the report.
The report said: “In particular, small and medium-sized craft breweries are well suited to target their brands in China at a niche segment of affluent and middle-class consumers who desire to trade up through purchases of premium foreign products.”
Key findings in the research, which outlines the feasibility of exporting to the country, showed China’s beer market would surpass that of the United States in value this year.
There is also an increasing number of domestic brewers launching in the country, which is a well-documented trend in the west.
Premium foreign products
A growing number of middle-income consumers, who desire to trade up through purchases of foreign and premium foreign products, is fuelling the growth, the report said.
Meanwhile, the UK became the second largest importer of American craft beer, according to the US-based Brewers Association this month.
The UK had jumped two places up the list of the biggest importers of US craft beer in the past 12 months, it said.