Beer has always been a poor-people product, but has been going upmarket, now China´s elite discover the more fancy beers, tells retail analyst Shaun Rein to the Boston Globe. Although, in the sales, craft beers in China hardly show up, that is going to change.
The Boston Globe:
“In some parts of rural China, it’s cheaper to drink beer than water,” said Shaun Rein, founder of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “It’s always been a poor man’s beverage.”
In the United States, craft beer makes up 12 percent of the market; in China, it barely registers.
Rein, the researcher, attributes the craft-beer explosion to the increasing number of Chinese who studied abroad. “These are young consumers who want to show they’re more sophisticated and are buying something different,” he said.
Chimay and floral Belgium beers now pop up on store shelves, and some bigger city bars serve well-known brews from the United States, including Dogfish Head and Ballast Point.
Rein estimates the industry will see around 25 percent growth annually over the next five years. Meanwhile, sales of traditional beers are declining.
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