The rising trend among Turks brewing alcoholic drinks at home has hit sales of a range of drinks in the country, including beer, the head of a leading brewer has said.
The latest nine-month activity report of Anadolu Group, which owns Turkey’s top beer brand, Anadolu Efes, shows that domestic sales slumped 5.7 percent year-on-year.
“Beer sales in Turkey have been decreasing but I’m not sure about a drop in consumption,” Anadolu Group Chair Tuncay Özilhan said at an event in Frankfurt.
“I believe the reason behind the decrease in beer sales is the surge in homebrewed beer in Turkey. Many people brew their beer at home using special equipment, which is sold at relatively cheap prices,” he added.
“Today more than half of the cost of a 50 cl beer is paid in taxes. This trend has led to a significant decline in tax income. We have shared our views about this issue with the authorities,” said Özilhan, who also chairs the Turkey-Russia Business Council and the Eurasia Business Councils of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
The fall in Anadolu Group’s domestic beer sales came despite an 8 percent year-on-year increase in foreign sales in the same period, according to the report.
Alcohol consumers in Turkey have been hit by a series of price hikes in recent years, largely driven by special consumption tax rises. Amid these price rises there has been a sharp uptick in the production of counterfeit alcoholic beverages.
Ties with Russia
Meanwhile, in his speech Özilhan also noted that “almost all of the problems” in Turkey’s bilateral ties with Russia have been resolved in recent months.
“Only the tomato issue and some visa issues are left to be resolved. Russia is expected to give authorization to four or five more companies to import Turkish tomatoes soon. Russia says it has heavily invested in tomato production after the jet crisis broke out with Turkey,” he noted.
“Regarding the visa issue, Russia currently offers three-day visas to businesspeople. They will work on this issue. Turkish construction companies are now allowed to bid in Russian tenders. Our trade and tourism ties have normalized as well. The World Cup will be held in Russia and I believe Turkish companies will undertake key projects there,” Özilhan said, adding that his company’s brewery operations were continuing in Russia without any problems with key partners.
Özilhan, who also serves as the head of the high advisory council of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), also stated that his Anadolu Group recently exported 5 million liters of alcohol-free beer to Iran.
“I believe this amount will increase to 15 or 20 million liters in the future,” he added.