Market study: beer in China

Nowadays, China’s consumption of beer ranks higher than any other country in the world. Tsingtao Beer(青岛啤酒), Snow Beer(雪花啤酒), Yanjing Beer(燕京啤酒), Budweiser(百威啤酒), Shancheng Beer(山城啤酒), Pearl River Beer(珠江啤酒), Harbin Beer(哈尔滨啤酒), Kingway Beer(金威啤酒), Sedrin Beer(雪津啤酒) and King Star Beer(金星啤酒): Out of these top 10 selling beers in China, 9 of them are Chinese domestic brands. Chinese beer has seen a growth in popularity internationally in the past few decades. The growing health craze is also influencing the development of beer industry. Low-alcohol beers will continue develop in China while Chinese consumers’ habits and acceptance of the new-flavored and healthy beers develop.  

Chinese domestic beer brand: Tsingtao Beer(青岛啤酒)

Tsingtao Beer was founded in 1903 by German settlers and was named from the old translation of the city of Qingdao(青岛) in the Shandong(山东) Province. The beer, produced by Tsingtao Brewery, has been the best-seller in China for 11 consecutive years. Tsingtao also represents the most widely exported brand of Chinese beer, followed by Zhujiang(珠江) and Yanjing(燕京). Now it is the second largest brewery in China and claims about 15% of domestic market share. The beer market in China was very underdeveloped up until the 1980s and the brewery was initially forced to concentrate on the overseas market. Despite concentrating on international markets, Tsingtao beer has also attempted to sell its beer on the domestic market and competes with not both domestic brands and foreign brands.

Foreign Brand:Budweiser Beer(百威啤酒) in China

Budweiser(百威啤酒) is a foreign brand in the Chinese beer market with a 1.2% market share. It is a premium brand and has become a symbol of status for some Chinese people as its price can be three times higher than some of the domestic brands, according to a report by Bloomberg. Since “the King of Beers” would like to take a bigger piece of the Chinese market, it plans to invest more in China. Currently, the brand is sold in 86 countries, however, its ambitious marketers hope to eventually see Budweiser in every corner of the world. Since China is the world’s largest beer consumer, the first step for AB InBev is to grab Chinese market.

Chinese beer festivals

Currently, British beer festivals, German beer festivals and US beer festivals are the world’s 3 largest beer festival. As the popularity of beer appears in China, an increasing number of Chinese cities hold beer festivals themselves allowing Chinese consumers to join in on this western celebration. At the beginning of June, Yanjing conducts beer festivals(燕京啤酒节). From the middle to the end of July, Harbin conducts beer festivals(哈尔滨啤酒节). These are followed by the Chinese international beer festivals(中国国际啤酒节) in Dalian and then in mid to late August, Qingdao international beer festivals(青岛国际啤酒节) begin. These beer festivals are the reflection of Chinese community’s increasing consumption of beer.


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