Germany Holds its Own on the EU Beer Market

Malt Liquors And Malt December 02, 2015
Author: Alla Yakimova
Market Analyst

The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium were the main suppliers of beer among EU members, with a combined share of 55% of total exports in 2014. However, the fastest growing supplier was France, with a 20% per year increase in total exports from 2007 to 2014. As a result, the French significantly strengthened their position in the European export structure, from 3% in 2007 to 8% in 2014.

In 2014, the main destinations of beer imports were the UK (17%), France (13%) and Germany (13%). The share sent to Spain increased (+3 percentage points), while the exports to the United Kingdom illustrated negative dynamics (-2 percentage points). The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

Germany dominated in EU beer production and took the second place in trade. In 2014, Germany exported 18.6% of its total beer output. Of this amount, 19.9% was supplied to Italy, where German beer held a 23.5% share of total Italy's consumption.

As people have become more aware of maintaining healthier lifestyles, consumer preferences have shifted toward low-alcoholic energizing drinks with natural components. This consumer behavior explains the recent shrinking of the Western beer market, which is currently switching from the second cycle to the third one, while the Eastern European market is moving from the first stage to the second.

Dropping consumer demand is further aggravated by an increase in the amount of beverage products on the market, heightened requirements by retailers and consumers, and tougher market access. This confluence of challenging factors is not merely creating complications for large beer manufacturers, but also may signal the beginning of a difficult period for the entire beer industry.

Source: EU: Beer - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020