(Yicai) Jan. 25 -- The lunar new year next month will make clearer whether the recovery in demand for premium brews in China is going to spread to the entire beer market this year, according to the chairman of China Resources Beer Holdings.
A number of uncertainties still plague the market overall, Hou Xiaohai said at a public event yesterday in which he was named China Economic Newsmaker of the Year by Sina Finance and Yicai.
The Chinese New Year holiday, which begins on Feb. 10, will be an key time for brewers to take stock of demand, Hou said, adding that if it falls short of expectations, the year will likely prove to be very challenging.
Despite market-wide pressures last year, premium beer products maintained double-digit growth and the trend could continue this year, Hou said, adding that runaway recovery in premium beer sales reflects China’s economic resilience.
As major cities broke through the economic ceiling of CNY1 trillion (USD139.6 billion) one after another, the consumption upgrade trend is embedded, he said.
Sales growth at CR Beer, which owns Snow, one of the best-selling brands in the market, outstripped its rivals last year due to the company’s efforts to boost capacity in earlier years amid increasing demand for higher-quality beer.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine