Alcoholic Beverages

The alcoholic beverages industry encompasses beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages. Many companies operating in the industry have brands spanning multiple subsectors, but the biggest alcoholic beverage company, AB Inbev focuses only on beer.

Recently, with the advent of legal recreational cannabis markets in the United States and Canada, many alcoholic beverage companies have begun investing in cannabis businesses as a new revenue stream and as a hedge against revenue loss to a competing industry. Another emerging trend in the industry follows the general trend towards health and wellness in the overall food and beverage industry. As more and more people are trying to limit their intake of alcohol, more companies across the spectrum of the industry have begun offering low and no-alcoholic options, to great success.

Biggest regional beer producer
Asia
Total global wine consumption
244 million hectoliters
Leading spririts market in terms of sales
United States

Industry insights

Alcoholic Drinks Report - 2020

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Market size

Growth for years to come
Size of the alcoholic beverage market worldwide from 2018 to 2024 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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The alcoholic beverages market is forecast to grow by nearly 19 percent by 2024 to over 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars in value from an initial value of 1.5 trillion dollars.

Much of the alcoholic beverages market revenue comes from the two largest country markets in the world, the United States and China. In terms of categories, beer is the dominant beverage in the industry.

Alcoholic beverage industry
Alcoholic beverages in the U.S.

Market segments

Beer is still the king of alcohol
Sales market share of the United States alcohol industry from 2000 to 2019, by beverage
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Beer accounted for 45 percent of all alcoholic beverage sales in the United States in 2019, with spirits in second place at 38 percent and wine in last with 17 percent of sales.

Beer has been steadily losing market share since 2000 when it accounted for over half of all sales. Spirits have been the main benefactor of this slump, picking up almost ten points of market share since that time. Meanwhile, wine has stayed relatively unchanged in its position.

Wine market in the U.S.
Beer Industry
Spirit brands

Industry trends

Better for you comes to alcoholic beverages
Compound annual growth of low- and no-alcohol beverages in the United States from 2018 to 2022, by product category
Further details: Visit original statistic

Low and non-alcoholic ready to drink alcoholic beverages are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent between 2018 and 2022 in the United States. Wine is second, with a CAGR of nearly 18 percent over that time period.

The predicted growth of these beverages can be tied to the greater trend in food and beverage of better-for-you products which promote a healthier lifestyle. Likewise, more consumers are trying to drink no or less alcohol every year.

Craft beer in the U.S.
Hard soda in the U.S.

Industry leaders

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a beverage giant
Leading beverage companies worldwide in 2019, based on sales (in million U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Belgian brewing company responsible for such brands as Budweiser, Corona, and Beck's is not only the largest alcoholic beverages company in the world but also the largest beverage company altogether with sales of over 52 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Heineken came second with roughly half the sales of AB InBev in that year.

It should come as no surprise that brewers top the list, as beer is the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage worldwide.

Beer industry
Spirit brands
Wine market in the U.S.

Industry definition

The alcoholic beverages industry is comprised of companies that manufacture and sell beverages containing alcohol from various sources. The main segments of the industry are beer, wine, and spirits. Among these exist various subsegments differentiated by their production materials and techniques, and the flavors and alcohol content they produce. All alcoholic beverages share the commonality of fermenting some source of sugar at some stage in their production in order to produce alcohol.

Beer is the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage on the planet and for this reason, the world's largest beer brewers are also the largest alcoholic drink manufacturers on the planet, with Belgian AB InBev leading the pack. Spirits, which are produced by distilling after fermentation are the next largest market, are led by the British company Diageo. Finally, wine, made from fermented grapes is the smallest major alcohol segment. The largest producer is E&J Gallo Winery.

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