As a special research of consumers’ preferences carried out by Nielsen in November 2008 showed, beer got into the list of products consumers were going to economize on at the time of crisis. This means that in 2009 beer production volumes on the whole can decrease and consumers might prefer cheaper products. However the brewers are trying to oppose this trend. Nielson monitoring shows that the most of new brands launched by the federal companies since the year beginning have been positioned in the premium segment.
The major part of the market players expect the beer market to decrease by 5% in volume by the end of the year 2009. Notwithstanding a serious decline at the beginning of the year such «optimistic prognosis could result from low production base of the market in 2008, as well as from rather hot weather in the second half of 2009, which has so far promoted beer sales. Thus the market volume by value can increase by nearly 10% and reach the total of 500,000 mln ruble.
In spite of the sales drop by volume, Russian consumers are willing to try new beer tastes. Natalya Alexandrovskaya, leading expert of company «Nielsen Rossia» remarks that over the period from January to May 2009, the beer market has been experiencing a growth only in two segments — dark and flavored beer:
«The dark beer share has gone up to 0.7% by volume. The flavored beer share over the same period has increased from 1.9% to 2.2% in volume. Lager still accounts for the major market share although by April, its position has suffered by 0.4 p.p. Meanwhile, accounting seasonality of beer sales and comparing January-April 2009 to the same period of the previous year, the lager fall is 1 p.p on the average. A relative success and positive dynamics of dark and flavored beer can be explained by active launching in these segments. The best results here were shown by new products of the largest market players, such as «Baltika», SABMiller and Efes».