The beer market remains constant in 2021

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The Brewers of Romania Association announced the evolution of the brewing market last year:

 

  • The brewing market remained stable, with -0.7% decrease, which means 16.6 million hl volume
  • In terms of packaging, the beer market is slowly but surely returning to pre-crisis trends, glass is rising and PET is declining.
  • In Covid-19 context, Romanians preferred one use packaging: non-returnable glass, plastic or can
  • The share of the HORECA sector in beer sales decreased to 8% in 2020, from 15% the previous year
  • Beer mixes and flavored beers, as well as non-alcoholic beer, recorded the highest increases, of about 20%, while beer specialties decreased by 43%.
  • The share of the HORECA sector in beer sales increased by only one percentage point compared to 2020, up to 9% last year, compared to a share of 15-20% in the years before the pandemic.

 

We come after a complicated 2021 year, in which beer sales in bars and restaurants slightly increased compared to 2020, but lockdowns and restrictions on operating hours and the number of clients in Horeca sector, along with strict quarantine rules, not permitted a return to pre-pandemic levels. 2022 promises to be even more challenging, especially because of the local and global macroeconomic situation, the record inflation we are facing, but also the war in Ukraine. Despite all these constraints, this year we also pay special attention to the activities of sustainability and responsible consumption and we hope that the Romanian beer market will continue to mature”, said Mihai Voicu, President of the Brewers of Romania Association.

“Romanians’ preference for non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beer, such as beer mixes and flavored beers, is growing, following the European consumer trend. Although with a small market share, these segments registered significant increases last year in Romania, of approximately 20% compared to the previous year. This confirms the increasingly varied preferences of Romanians in terms of beer, the desire to experience new, special tastes, but also the opportunity to enjoy the taste of beer in situations where alcohol consumption is not allowed”, added Julia Leferman, general manager of the Brewers of Romania Association.

Even with flat volume results in 2021, the beer sector continues to have a significant positive impact on the Romanian economy. The beer industry provides, directly and indirectly, a number of 61,000 jobs for Romanians, covers exclusively from local production approximately 97% of domestic beer consumption, and 50% of the ingredients from the Romanian agriculture. The beer sector contributes to Romania’s economic growth, through its long-term commitment to invest locally and to build a responsible industry.

 

Key data in 2021

  • Types of beer consumed: lager has continued its domination in the Romanians’ preferences also last year, with a share of 93.6%, in a slightly decrease versus the previous year. The beer mixes and flavored beers won 3.8% of the market while non-alcoholic beer had a share of 1.7%. The last two categories recorded the biggest jump last year compared to 2020, respectively 21% for mixes and 20% for non-alcoholic beer. The specialties category, which includes dark, unpasteurized, light, ale, red, etc., held a share of 0.9%, the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The category marked a sharp decrease last year (-43% compared to the previous year), continuing the downward trend recorded in 2020 (-28%).
  • Consumers’ preferences according to packaging types: the market structure according to packaging during the second year of Covid-19 crisis continued pre-pandemic trends. The unquestionable star of 2021 was glass, with an increase of 4 pp compared to the previous year, after a first pandemic year of decline. Both the cans and the draft are increasing. In the case of can beer the trend of recent years is a constant advance, while the KEG, thanks to a longer period of operation of the hospitality sector, 2021 has brought a slight recovery, without reaching the share held before the health crisis. PET is the only type of packaging that has dropped last year by more than 5 pp. Share on each type of packaging – glass: 31.6%, can: 24.3%, keg: 2,6%, PET: 41.5%.
  • Investments: the investment efforts of the members of the Brewers of Romania are significant, amounting to 100.5 million euros in 2021, increasing by almost 28 million euros compared to 2020. The cumulated investment level of the members over the last 18 years amounted 1.8 billion euros.
  • Contributions to the state budget: the level of the annual contributions of the members of the Association to the state budget also register an increasing trend, reaching 272 million euros in 2021 alone. The level of the accumulated contribution from the members of the Association in the last 18 years has exceeded 4.4 billion euros.
  • Imports: the local brewing market continues its profoundly national character, the share of the local production remaining at around 97% of the internal consumption. Throughout 2021, imports increased by 0.5 million hl, reaching a total of 0.69 million hl.
  • Exports: exports slightly decreased, by 0.04 million hl compared to the previous year, reaching 0.49 million hl.
  • Number of brewers: the number of brewers increased to 93 in 2021, compared to 86 in the 2020.

 

*Data source: BDO Business Advisory, Brewers of Europe study on the economic impact of beer sector in Romania, 2021

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