The 10 largest breweries in the world: AB InBev

AB InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg ranked as the world’s largest brewers in 2019, by volume.

The ranking is based on the Plato Logic Limited Report for calendar year 2019 (published December 2020).

Behind these three companies, there were then, in descending order: CR Snow, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Tsingtao, Asashi, Beijing Yanjing, Castel BGI and EFES.

Volumes are based on calculations of the total volumes of majority-owned subsidiaries, which also brew licensed beer.

Meanwhile, AB InBev’s beer volumes for the year ended December 31, 2020 were 467 million hectoliters and 495 million hectoliters for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Globally, brewers compete primarily on the basis of brand image, price, quality, distribution networks, and customer service.

The consolidation of the breweries has significantly increased the capital base and geographic reach of competitors in some of the markets.

Ab InBev expects competition to increase further as the trend toward consolidation continues among companies in the beverage industry.


At the same time, competition in the beverage industry is expanding and the market is becoming more fragmented, complex and sophisticated as consumer preferences and tastes change.

Such preferences can change rapidly and unpredictably due to a variety of factors, including changes in prevailing economic conditions, changes in social trends and attitudes towards alcoholic beverages, changes in leisure activity patterns, or negative publicity such as result of regulatory action or litigation against companies.

Additionally, developments in regulatory frameworks governing cannabis use could result in changes in consumer preferences and the impact that cannabis legalization could have on alcohol sales remains unclear.

Finally, according to AB InBev, competition with brewers and producers of alternative beverages in various markets and an increase in the purchasing power of players in distribution channels could lead to:

  • Lower prices.
  • Increase capital investment.
  • Grow marketing and other expenses.
  • Being prevented from raising prices to recoup higher costs, leading to lower margins or losing market share.


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