According to data issued by Research and Markets, "A Study of China's Beer Market 2017" , China's beer market is projected to reach RMB 683 billion yuan by 2019, making China the largest beer producer in the world followed by the United States. In addition, China is also the largest consumer of beer in the world. In 2015, Chinese consumers imbibed double the volume of beer compared to their American counterparts (18 billion liters).
Despite the alluring investment prospect offered by these eye-catching top trump statistics, investment in China's beer sector actually requires careful consideration. The beer market has already shown signs of saturation. Although the overall sales value continues to grow, the domestic output and sales volume in China has been trending downwards in recent years. Does this reduction in volume and the concomitant increase in value point to a trend towards premiumization and fit with the narrative of the refining palates, deeper pockets, demand for higher quality and heightened demands for new experiences amongst Chinese middle class or is there more at play?