China Food

A thousand yuan a bottle. Have the rich changed to beer?

The high-end war of
beer has officially started. Affected by the price of raw materials and brand transformation and upgrading, the price of beer will be higher and higher in the foreseeable future.


(source: New Weekly)

The most civilian alcoholic drink – beer, we can’t afford it?
Recently, according to CCTV finance and economics report, since May last year, there have been several high priced beers on the market, raising the unit price of beer from a few yuan to thousands of yuan at one stroke.
In the first half of 2021, China Resources Snow Beer launched the high-end beer product “Li” with an official price of 999 yuan / box (2 bottles / box, 999ml / bottle), and the production is limited to 40000 groups per year.
The “super high-end” operation of China Resources immediately led to the participation of many beer enterprises. On January 9, 2022, Tsingtao Beer launched its ultra-high-end new product “Legend of the first world”, with a price of 1399 yuan / bottle (1.5L) on the official website.
Budweiser beer is also unwilling to be outdone. Then, during the Spring Festival, Budweiser launched a limited edition high-end beer called “master legend” in the year of the tiger, with a price of 1588 yuan / bottle (798ml) and a limited sale of 2400 bottles.
Thousand yuan beer is controversial/ World finance
The high-end wave of the beer industry came unprepared. With the spirit of striving to be the first, the beer giants kept pricing up for fear that their beer would sell cheaper than their own.
He Yong, Secretary General of China Wine Industry Association and chairman of beer branch, said: “2021 is the first year of high-end beer industry, a landmark year to get out of the bottom, a real return to the era of value and a rise in both quantity and price.”
But can the beer out of the bottom continue to be loved by young people?
High end beer, where is the high end?
Looking at the current domestic beer market, it has been basically divided up by five Giants: China Resources beer, Tsingtao beer, Yanjing Beer, Budweiser InBev and Carlsberg. By occupying more than 90% of the market share, “high-end” has long been engraved in their corporate genes.
It is worth mentioning that from the current drinking habits of the public, beer with a price of more than 10 yuan on the market has become a high-end product, and beer with a price of more than 1000 yuan has directly “leapfrog” into ultra-high-end products.
Tsingtao beer has officially entered the high-end beer market since 2010, and has launched many products such as ogut, Hongyun dangtou, Pearson and so on. In 2020, Tsingtao Beer launched a series of new art brewing products such as “Centennial journey” and “Amber rag”, which means that it has officially opened the road of high-end.
In 2017, when formulating its future development strategy, China Resources snowflake beer planned to build four Chinese brands, including Tianya super x, Mars green, ingenuity and Facebook, and invited Wang Jiaer to speak for it. Its ambition to enter the high-end beer market is beyond words.
In addition, Budweiser beer and Zhujiang Beer have also launched their own high-end beer in an attempt to improve production capacity and upgrade consumption.

Qingdao International Beer Festival/ Graphic insect creativity

They are all talking about “high-end”. Where is the “high-end” of beer with a price of thousands of yuan? Does high price mean high-end?
Understandably, in order to emphasize the high-end of their new products, all kinds of beer brands make a big fuss on raw materials, production technology and brand value.
“Li” emphasizes its intention in raw materials: it uses high flavor malt, burnt flavor malt, crystalline malt and low dissolution basic malt, with Organic Millet, organic job’s tears, Lanzhou Lily and other auxiliary materials, which is called “restoring the predecessor product of beer in Chinese history”.
“Legend I” claims to be the master of beer, whisky, wine, champagne and other brewing techniques, while “master legend” is brewed under the supervision of the fifth generation Brewing Master of the George F. Reisch family, the honorary Knight of the global brewing Association… A pile of professional words make people “unaware”.
However, with the ever-changing retail market, today’s consumers are no longer leeks that can be harvested at will. The sales of these super high-end beers with a price of thousands of yuan on online e-commerce platforms are not ideal.
Although “Li” is limited to 40000 sets per year, tmall flagship store shows that its monthly sales data is only 100 +; The sales volume of “Legend I” after the Spring Festival is also bleak, and the monthly sales volume of tmall is only 100 +.
Screenshot of “Li” e-commerce platform purchase page.
In the final analysis, for consumers, no matter how high-end raw materials and brewing technology, beer is an alcoholic beverage after fermentation. It’s not worth buying a bottle of beer with a shelf life of six months to one or two years at a price of thousands of yuan.
For higher end,
How hard do the beers work
Obviously, the sales volume is poor and the market feedback is mediocre. Why are these beer enterprises so keen to launch high-end products?
This is related to the domestic beer market positioning.
China is the world’s largest beer consumer. Early beer enterprises realized the rapid expansion of the market through horse racing enclosure. However, with the gradual stability of the market structure, the output of China’s beer industry has basically peaked in 2013, and the incremental market has been transformed into the stock market.
According to global data, the total consumption of China’s beer market decreased by 51.4% in the five years from 2013 to 2018. Beer production and consumers’ willingness to buy are also declining.
However, the average retail price of domestic beer has been far lower than that abroad. In 2019, the average retail price of beer in China was US $2.1/l, significantly lower than that in Europe, America, Japan and South Korea in the same period, and even ranked at the end of the world.
Just watch Korean dramas to know how much Koreans love drinking/ “Confessing couple”
It is generally believed in the industry that the proportion of high-end products can effectively increase the price of beer. Since then, the high-end has become a fast lane for major beer enterprises to break through the crisis and increase their income and profits.
Euromonitor data show that from 2015 to 2020, the proportion of high-end beer consumption in China increased from 7.1% to 11%, and the proportion of high-end beer market increased from 24.6% to 35%. Driven by consumption upgrading, it is expected that the proportion of high-end beer consumption market will jump to 40% in 2024.
The Chinese people’s feeling that beer is becoming more and more expensive may stem from the sudden popularity of refined beer.
According to the Securities Daily, from 2012 to 2018, the number of domestic brewing beer manufacturers increased from 7 to 848, and the sales volume increased from 567000 tons to 829000 tons.
According to a set of data from AI media consulting, refined beer, industrial beer and wine are the three most commonly consumed wines by Chinese consumers in 2021, of which refined beer accounts for 35.5%, ranking first.
Fine brewed beer became the representative of new consumption of domestic products overnight, and the following consumers also benchmarked it with independence, literature and art and niche. More and more young people take drinking fine brewing as a habit, which is the so-called “as soon as you enter the fine brewing, it is like the sea, and from then on, industrial beer is a passer-by”.
Few people can understand what is craft beer/ Graphic insect creativity
The popularity of fine brewed beer may provide more ideas and courage for these domestic beer giants: high-end beer is imperative.
I have to admit that when we mention “high-end liquor”, the first impression in our mind is baijiu. Over the years, Baijiu has almost dominated the market of high-end liquor in China. This is not what beer companies want to see.
So we saw in the market thousands of pieces of beer, limited edition high-end beer, beer specially brewed by global brewing masters
“Industry insiders believe that the original wort concentration, alcohol content and shelf life of 1000 yuan beer are not enough to support the price of more than 1000 yuan,” CCTV finance and economics reported
Fang Gang, a beer industry analyst, said in an interview with China business news that beer giants have launched these thousand yuan beers one after another. Their symbolic significance is greater than the market significance. It is more to compete for the commanding height of the brand and bring help to the follow-up high-end.
Zhu danpeng, an analyst of China’s food industry, revealed the truth: “the real significance of thousand yuan beer does not lie in hops, malt degree and spring water, but in making others have a sense of topic and can go on hot search. To put it bluntly, it is a marketing plan for powder absorption.”
Will young people buy high-end beer?
Just like coffee and tea, beer is not only a social currency for young people, but also a lifestyle, emerging culture and spiritual coordinate.
Because of the mysterious fermentation process of beer and the function of blurring people’s consciousness, the primitive society regarded alcoholic beverage as a mysterious liquid given by gods, with supernatural attributes.
In modern society, alcohol is endowed with more symbolic meanings. It is an anesthetic for loneliness, a nutrient solution at night, a catalyst for love and a special medicine for dreams.
After a hard day’s work on the rooftop, the inmates in Shawshank Redemption sat around drinking beer. The sunset set and the afterglow sprinkled on their shoulders. They tasted the freedom and comfort they had not seen for a long time.
Alcohol = free/ Shawshank Redemption
In love like a bouquet, the men and women who missed the last bus met in a tavern late at night and talked about movies, literature and music. They unexpectedly found that there were so many similarities between them, and then fell in love.
In the Korean drama “drunkard city women” broadcast at the end of last year, three 30-year-old women take drinking as their life belief. They always get together to have a drink after work. What they drink is wine, but what they feel is the wilderness of life and the tenderness between friends.
What they drink is not wine, but emotion and life/ Drunkard city women
People set more and more scenes for alcohol, which also gives alcohol more meaning and spiritual connotation. Beer is no longer an amateur pastime for migrant workers. It has become a global culture. Beer festivals and taverns around the world came into being.
Young people work overtime late at night and come home. They open a bottle of cold beer in the fridge and pour it down. Their fatigue is swept away. Or make an appointment with three or five friends at the weekend to find a small pub with acceptable music taste, and talk to each other with fine brewing, as if they could reserve the energy to continue to live bravely next week.
Whether it’s a small refrigerator for social animals or a tavern late at night, I’m afraid there’s no room for a bottle of high-end beer worth thousands of yuan. The reason is very simple. We can’t afford it, whether it’s social animal workers or subculture consumer groups.
Beer giants produce these high-end beers, and the main audience has never been our ordinary consumers, but upper class and business people who are willing to pay for it.
These thousands of pieces of beer will appear in various marketing advertisements in the future, in real scenes such as business banquets and gift giving, but they will not appear on the table of ordinary people.
But in any case, the high-end war of beer enterprises has officially started. Affected by the price of raw materials and brand transformation and upgrading, the price of beer will be higher and higher in the foreseeable future.


[1] Insight 2021: competition pattern and market share of China’s beer industry (with market concentration and enterprise competitiveness evaluation)

[2] Comparable to Maotai, can a thousand yuan beer consumers afford it Radar Finance

[3] “The high-end beer market is full of gunpowder, and it is still difficult for domestic enterprises to surpass foreign brands”, Zhou Zijian

[4] “Tsingtao beer has a super high-end market, and the high-end beer industry may account for 20% in five years”, Changjiang business daily

[5] The first coverage report of beer industry: the way to break the situation under the high-end trend Liao Xinyu / Ge Xingzi / Wang Hanyi Nomura Oriental International Securities Co., Ltd

[6] “The domestic beer industry has changed from” incremental market “to” stock market “. The good play of the five giants” big fish eat big fish “can be expected” Securities Daily

[7] “Thousand yuan beer” hunting “Maotai” is always reasonable

[8] In 2021, 35.5% of consumers mainly drink fine brewed beer

[9] “Thousand yuan beer Secret War: fighting for the initiative rather than sales performance” first financial information

[10] “Beer is more expensive than Maotai?! thousand yuan beer appears frequently, and the industry has launched high-end products… Is” beer freedom “dying?” Securities Times

[11] “A bottle of beer can be sold for 3000 yuan? Enterprises have arranged one after another! Is 1000 yuan beer really more fragrant?” CCTV Finance

[12] “Supporting high end by price? The game in beer market is not that simple” by Zhou Zijian China’s food industry

[13] “Accelerated reshuffle of refined beer, more than 500 brands have fallen this year” Wu Rong Interface news

This article is authorized to be reprinted from the WeChat official account (ID:new-weekly) of new weekly. Founded on August 18, 1996, new weekly is positioned as “China’s most cutting-edge lifestyle weekly”. For more than 20 years, it has measured the temperature of the times with a cutting-edge attitude. From magazines to new media, new weekly continues to look for the common pain points, tears and laughter of you and me. Pay attention to the WeChat official account of the new weekly, and have an attitude with you. Official microblog @ New Weekly.
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