Change Brewing in Global Beer Industry

By Food & Drink Business | 17 January 2000

Heineken and South African Breweries are setting the pace of consolidation in global brewing but Carlsberg is looking to play a more active role in the future. The world beer market is highly fragmented and ripe for consolidation with the top twenty players accounting for less than half of sales. The global beer industry has also been slow to internationalise. Many of the world's largest brewers (see Table), such as Anheuser Busch and Miller of the US, Brahma of Brazil, and South African Breweries are still heavily reliant on their domestic markets, where growth opportunities are limited, and have consequently been seeking to expand abroad. Anheuser-Busch generates only about 15% of its volume sales outside the US, in contrast to Heineken, Carlsberg and Interbrew which each earn over 85% of their revenue in foreign markets.

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Heineken and South African Breweries are setting the pace of consolidation in global brewing but Carlsberg is looking to play a more active role in the future. The world beer market is highly fragmented and ripe for consolidation with the top twenty players accounting for less than half of sales. The global beer industry has also been slow to internationalise. Many of the world's largest brewers (see Table), such as Anheuser Busch and Miller of the US, Brahma of Brazil, and South African Breweries are still heavily reliant on their domestic markets, where growth opportunities are limited, and have consequently been seeking to expand abroad. Anheuser-Busch generates only about 15% of its volume sales outside the US, in contrast to Heineken, Carlsberg and Interbrew which each earn over 85% of their revenue in foreign markets.

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