China’s beer sales volume reached 42.81 million kiloliters in 2009, and the ratio of output to sales achieved 101.3%. Regarding the regional market, the developed East China tended to be mature and stable, so both output and sales volume witnessed a slowdown in growth. However, the underdeveloped regions, the central and the west experienced an increasingly fast growth, thus China’s beer market had been shifting to those regions. In 2009, Southwest enjoyed the highest growth rate in beer output, holding 20%, followed by Northwest with 14.8%. Meanwhile, the number of large corporations decreased by 38 compared with the figure in 2008 via a series of adjustments of China’s beer industry. Such expansions and mergers among the large corporations are continued and gradually expanding towards the central and the west in 2010.
With regard to product structure, foreign brands such as Budweiser, Heineken and Carlsberg occupy approximately 70% shares in the high-end beer market. In the meantime, domestic beer brands are making great efforts to end the predicament of low profit and small return on investment, adjust product structure and develop towards medium and high-end market in a bid to increase operating income and net profit. Now, Tsingtao, Yanjing, Pearl River and Snow have already started to deploy in medium and high-end market.
The competition among domestic beer brands is intense. Snow has expanded its market share for four successive years since it topped the industry in 2006. Tsingtao takes the second place, with little change in market share; and followed by Yanjing, with a slight growth in market share.
The mergers and acquisitions are prosperous in 2010. Asahi, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg have become the second largest shareholders of Tsingtao, Pearl River, Kingway and Chongqing Beer respectively. Carlsberg has started to deploy in the west; spurred by Asahi, Tsingtao has further consolidated Shandong’s market and expanded the East China market; Snow firstly entered Henan’s market, followed by Tsingtao and Yanjing, all trying to seize the last market in the central from Jinxing. As a result of continuous mergers and acquisitions, the industry concentration has been continuously enhanced and 40% of China’s beer market has been controlled by foreign capital.
The report firstly introduces the entire scale, output, sales volume and development trend of China’s beer market in recent years as well as regional market characteristics and brand competition, and then analyzes M&A in beer industry, and M&A strategies of foreign enterprises in China. Finally, it delves into the operation, product features, marketing strategies and M&A trend of China’s major nine beer breweries and six foreign beer ones.