Export Development Program News – May 2023

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2022 Export Survey Results

A big thank you to all the breweries that responded to the annual export survey. The data you provide is crucial—it informs our understanding of trends, successes, and challenges that influence future Brewers Association (BA) Export Development Program (EDP) programming to support American craft beer exports. In 2022, the volume of reported exports witnessed its first decline in years, though value increased slightly. There were a host of challenges facing exporters in 2022, ranging from lingering COVID-19-related lockdowns to rising inflation and energy costs, to currency devaluation relative to the strong U.S. dollar. That said, there were some notable bright spots among the EDP’s targeted export markets, with Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Korea, among others, all reporting notable increases. Canada remained the top market for exports of U.S. craft beer, with 25.2% of total shipments. Global economic difficulties aside, demand and appreciation for U.S. craft beer remain strong, and the EDP remains committed to expanding exports around the world.

Beer and Food Attraction a Success for Engaging EU Buyers

In February, the EDP team, including a delegation of U.S. brewery representatives, was thrilled to return to Beer and Food Attraction —Italy’s largest beer-related trade show. The 2023 Beer and Food Attraction was well attended, and while importers from Italy had the most noticeable presence, beer industry personnel from all over Europe were present in high numbers. Organizers reported professional visits representing 85 countries. The show presented a great opportunity for the delegation of six U.S. brewery representatives, who poured their beers at the EDP booth. In total, the EDP team shipped 34 beers from 12 member breweries.

american craft beer booth in italy

In addition to the booth and engagement with European importers, the EDP team organized a U.S. craft beer seminar that was well attended by a strong mix of importers and media. Each of the six brewery representatives presented a guided tasting of their beer, followed by a discussion with the audience. Several media placements on the seminar followed, along with some interviews and coverage about the American craft beer presence more generally, which significantly amplified the reach of the EDP delegation beyond those physically in attendance at the show. All in all, the Beer and Food attraction show represented a strong opportunity for U.S. brewery representatives to engage with European trade and will be a mainstay of future EDP programming.

In March, the EDP team traveled to Paris with four U.S. brewery representatives to participate in Planète Bière for the seventh year in a row. The delegation ran through a packed schedule in Paris, featuring a robust slate of activities including collaboration brews, retail takeover events, a sponsored food pairing dinner, and of course, the two-day show itself.

The EDP booth temporarily became one of the best craft beer bars in Paris, featuring 14 EDP member breweries and pouring 43 different beers. The EDP delegation and local team worked at the bar, showcasing their and other EDP members’ beers to the attending public and trade. U.S. beers received substantial interest, with styles like Hazy IPA and higher ABV beers noted as some of the most sought-after. The EDP booth also featured a French cheese and American craft beer pairing, always popular among French beer drinkers.

representatives for craft beer planete biere france

Before the show kicked off, two brewery representatives took part in collaboration brewing projects with local French craft brewers. Chris Smith and Robby Wiley of Virginia Beer Company brewed a Hazy IPA with Citra and HBC 630. Kerrie Stacks of The Bold Mariner traveled to Dijon and brewed with Brasserie 90 BPM, where they made an Imperial Sour with Orange Zest to be aged in whisky barrels.

The EDP Returns to the Korea International Beer Expo (KIBEX)

The EDP team recently returned from Seoul, South Korea, where they partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) to attend the Korea International Beer Expo (KIBEX). The booth, the core landmark of the EDP’s “Great American Craft Beer Showcase,” was centrally located and attracted high attendance throughout the three-day show. The first day was reserved for Korean trade, and the second and third days were attended by both trade and consumers.

The EDP delegation consisted of four brewery representatives, and in total the booth featured 36 American breweries and over 120 different beers that were poured by the ten Korean importers featured at the booth along with new-to-market brands. The American craft beer booth was not only the biggest but one of the most frequented at the show, where Korean consumers flocked to try different styles that are not currently available in the market. Moreover, the booth served as the hub for importer discussions, and delegation members consistently reported productive and promising talks with Korean importers.

american craft beer booth in korea

Beyond the show, the delegation attended a guided market tour aimed at enhancing their understanding of the Korean craft beer market. Tour stops included a meeting at the ATO office featuring two presentations on the Korean beer market, several retail visits, and a local craft brewery visit. In addition to the firsthand knowledge gained at the show and with importer discussions, the EDP delegation came away with a more in-depth understanding of the Korean market for craft beer that they will leverage for future export programming in the region.

EDP Supports United Kingdom Retail Activation

american craft beer on display in UK retailer

The EDP continues to look for ways to support the introduction and growth of American craft beer brands to international markets. In December 2022, the EDP reached an agreement with the British retail chain, Home Bargains, to feature an assortment of American craft beers during a seasonal holiday promotion. The promotion featured beer from three EDP member breweries and included end cap displays and point of sale (POS) materials in 400 stores. Promotional support from the EDP was an enticement and encouraged the retailer to add American craft beer SKUs (stock keeping units) to their normal listings. The promotion was a success and Home Bargains has since come back to the EDP with an interest in doing another in 2023. The EDP is also exploring whether similar promotions might be possible in other export markets. These promotions are useful in that they help show retail partners that American craft beers are popular and deserve attention. However, they are a challenge to implement and require retail partners to already carry or be willing to add brands from multiple EDP member breweries.

2023 CBC Export Track to Present Beer Markets in Ontario, Europe, and Southeast Asia

Annually, the EDP uses the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) and BrewExpo America as a draw for international guests and we offer a series of export-oriented seminars designed to educate attending members and foster connections for them with speakers and other international guests. We look forward to seeing many of you in Nashville—don’t miss these seminars!

May 8, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thailand, Singapore and Southeast Asia: Rising Markets in Craft Beer
Speaker: Chris Roberts, Heart of Darkness Brewery

May 8, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Your Gateway to Craft Beer in The Netherlands and Europe
Speaker: Steven van Eendenburg van Oosterhout, BrouwUnie and Beer Republic

May 9, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Doing Business with the LCBO: An Overview of the Ontario Beer Market
Speakers: Chris Robertson, Liquor Control Board of Ontario; Mark Wilson, Liquor Control Board of Ontario

EU Labeling Laws for Alcohol Are Changing

The European Union (EU) has been updating legislation and regulations pertaining to the labeling of foods and beverages sold within the bloc. Ingredient lists and energy values have been required on many products for years, but not on alcoholic beverages. EU Regulation No 1169/2011 has long exempted alcoholic beverages over 1.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) from the legal obligation to include ingredient and energy information. This is now changing.

In November 2023, all wine sold within the EU will be required to include ingredient labels and energy information, though these details are also allowed on an e-label accessed via approved QR codes on the product. The beer industry in Europe has been out in front on this issue.

In 2019, the Brewers of Europe and other stakeholders agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding and a Brewers’ Ambition to commit to health labeling across the EU by the end of 2022. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use. Energy values must be provided in kilojoules and kilocalories per 100 milliliters. This voluntary commitment by European brewers and leading stakeholders have kept mandatory requirements at bay, but that may change as the wine industry is now experiencing. American craft breweries exporting to Europe should be aware of these developments and discuss with importers whether new labels or stickers may be needed.

2022 Untappd Market Overview Reports Available to EDP Members

In January, the BA ran another promotional campaign internationally through Untappd. Similar to the 2021 campaign, consumers could earn an “American Craft Beer Around the World” badge when checking in EDP member beers purchased in different export target markets. The campaign ran in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, France, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and China.

The badge encourages consumers to seek out and sample American craft beers, but the value to the EDP comes in the Untappd data made available to us. In return for the sponsorship, the EDP can access check-in data from all our target markets, providing useful information such as top accounts, consumer demographics, style preferences, prices, and more. These reports are created to provide EDP members with key insights on target markets and can be found in the EDP member resources area under Market Research.

Upcoming EDP Activities and Registrations

The EDP continues to raise awareness internationally and build export marketing opportunities for American craft brewers. Members are encouraged to regularly check the online activity calendar or the EDP member resources page to stay on top of planned marketing activities and opportunities to present your beers internationally. The following represent confirmed forthcoming opportunities:

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