In Romania, the brewing market – stable in 2020


Brewers of Romania Association informs about the evolution of the brewing market last year:

  • The brewing market remained stable, with +0.5% increase and a volume of up to 16.75 million Hl
  • In Covid-19 context, Romanians preferred one use packaging: non-returnable glass, plastic or can
  • The share of the HORECA sector in beer sales decreased to 8% in 2020, from 15% the previous year
  • Beer mixes and flavored beers increased by 6%, while beer specialties decreased by 28%.

Dragoș Constantinescu, President of the Brewers of Romania Association, said:

2020 was a year with many challenges for society and for the beer market in Romania. The restrictions imposed due to the situation generated by the coronavirus have strongly affected the hospitality sector and, implicitly, our industry. The losses caused by the closure of HORECA were partially offset by retail purchases, moving beer consumption home, and by the fact that it was a year with good weather. At the same time, we assume that the market remained at the level of the previous year and due to the fact that many Romanians abroad, due to restrictions in the states where they worked, returned home for a while, stayed with family and spent their holidays here.

Before the pandemic, the beer served in the hospitality sector generated 443 million euros in the Romanian economy, while last year, it generated just over half, respectively 241 million euros.

Julia Leferman, general manager of the Brewers of Romania Association, added:

In the context of the health crisis, out of the desire to keep the social distance and to avoid the necessary journey to return the packaging, Romanians opted in 2020 for disposable packaging, whether we are talking about glass or plastic. Thus, the nonrefundable glass registered an increase of 58% compared to 2019, which is largely due to the lockdown or the decrease in the activity of Horeca sector. PET had an advance of 2.2%, which marks a counter-trend, after 5 years of constant decline, in which it lost 9 pp of the share held among packaging.

Even with flat volume results in 2020, the beer sector continues to have a significant positive impact on the Romanian economy. The beer industry provides, directly and indirectly, a number of 61,000 jobs for Romanians, covers exclusively from local production approximately 97% of domestic beer consumption, and 50% of the ingredients from the Romanian agriculture. The beer sector contributes to Romania’s economic growth, through its long-term commitment to invest locally and to build a responsible industry.

Key data in 2020

  • Contributions to the State budget: the level of the annual contributions of the members of the Association to the state budget register an increasing trend, reaching 289 million euros in 2020 alone. The level of the accumulated contribution from the members of the Association in the last 17 years has exceeded 4.17 billion euros.
  • Investments: the investment efforts of the members of the Brewers of Romania are also significant, amounting to 72.8 million euros in 2020. The cumulated investment level of the members over the last 17 years amounted 1.7 billion euros.
  • Consumers’ preferences according to packaging types: the market structure according to packaging during the Covid-19 pandemic has not kept pace with recent years. After a steady increase of over 5 pp between 2015 and 2019, the glass decreased last year compared to 2019 by 2.6%. The preference for one-use packaging increased. Thus, non-returnable glass registered an increase of 58% compared to 2019, and PET packaging an advance of 2.2%. At the same time, beer in cans increased by 1.7 pp last year, maintaining the upward trend of recent years. Draft beer has fallen the most, due to the partial or total lockdown of the hospitality sector over the last year, from 3.4% in 2019 to 2% last year. Share on each type of packaging – glass: 27.4%, can: 23.9%, keg: 2%, PET: 46.7%.
  • Types of beer consumed: lager has continued its domination in the Romanians’ preferences also last year, with a share of 93.8%, slightly higher than the previous year. The beer mixes and flavored beers won 3.2% of the market while specialties category, which includes, amongst many others, dark, unpasteurized, light, ale, red, etc., held a share of 1.6%. Non-alcoholic beer had a share of 1.4%. In terms of segment dynamics, the upward trend recorded in recent years by beer mixes and flavored beers has been maintained, even though 2020 brought an advance of only 6% for this segment (compared to over 32% the previous year), while beer specialties fell by 28%.
  • Number of brewers: the number of brewers increased to 86 in 2020, compared to 68 in the 2019.

Data source: BDO Business Advisory, Brewers of Europe study on the economic impact of beer sector in Romania, 2020.