With everything 2020 has thrown at us so far, starting with the death of Kobe Bryant, teasing World War III, the biggest pandemic in over a century which, as at the time of writing this article, had infected over 26 million people and killed over 850,000 people, and now the death of a cultural icon in Chadwick Boseman, it’s fair to have a drink, which is likely courtesy of the 11 largest beer companies in the world in 2020.
Beer is popular on a global scale, a fact which I’m sure I don’t need to tell. But how popular? Well, it’s an industry worth over $600 billion in just 2019 alone, which is a mind boggling figure. Based on a CAGR rate of 2.4%, we should ideally hit over $630 billion this year. But this year has been incredibly uncertain, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has still not been fully assessed. And in fact, it may not be certain for a long time.
Everyone loves beer, from Flam in Norway with a population of 350 hosting its own brewery, to any supermarket in any major city hosting a collection of beers from major companies around the world. The only place where you won’t find any beer is maybe the Taliban controlled regions of Afghanistan, as Islam has banned the consumption of alcohol (they have problem with opiods though). But even this is dwindling in some countries. In Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates and a Muslim country to boot, liquor laws have been further loosened to boost sales and other countries are even more liberal in their approach, allowing free consumption of alcohol, and these countries include Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. On the other end of the spectrum is the country which drinks the most beer, topped by Czech Republic, which consumes 142.4 liters per capita annually of beer.
You might think that, given all the interest for beer, beer companies are good investment opportunities. Not so fast. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is one of the biggest beer companies in the world with a market cap of $116 billion dollars, but hedge funds hate this stock. The value of hedge fund holdings in this giant stock was less than $900 million at the end of June 2020. Hedge funds were right about avoiding BUD as the stock lost 30% of its value so far this year. Our calculations showed that BUD is not even close to make our list of the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). The top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks also gained 28.2% in 2020 through August 24th and surpassed the market by another 20.6 percentage points this year. Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.
Of all alcohol, beer is the most consumed by far and this is good news for the largest beer companies in the world in 2020. To determine our list, we headed over to Technavio, which has prepared an incredibly extensive report on beer and its demand in the globe. Our list below is based on the market share of each company. If you want to take a look at how the list has changed over the years, you can compare it to the 11 largest beer companies in the world in 2017. So let’s look at the companies which are helping to quench our thirst for alcohol, starting with number 10:
10. Groupe Castel
Groupe Castel has over 28,000 employees and an operation refined from six decades worth of experience. It is the biggest wine producer in France, and for a company known for its vineyards, that’s a major achievement. The company purchased a major African competitor in 1990, Brasseries et Glacières Internationales (BGI) which has helped it increase its market share in Africa significantly. The most popular beer brands of the company are of course, Castel and Flag.
Showcasing the global popularity of beer, our companies are from all around the world, with Kirin hailing from Japan. Kirin is a beverages giant and its brewery company is second to none, having major holdings not just in Japan, but outside the country in other Asian countries as well. Its revenue was over USD 17 billion in 2019.
8. Beijing Yanjing Beer Group
Beer is as popular in Asia as it is in Europe or the Americas, and we now have an entry from China in the biggest beer companies in the world in 2020. It has over 42,000 employees and in 1995, was actually named the official beer to be served at state banquets in China.
7. Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.
The company is over 130 years old and is one of the biggest companies in Japan, with alcoholic beverages only making up 41% of the total business. Asahi has the highest market share of the beer industry in Japan, which is a huge industry, followed by Kirin. Asahi has purchased several global businesses from Anheuser-Busch InBev (InBev) within the past few years, exponentially increasing the hold of Asahi on the global beer industry.
6. Tsingtao Brewery Group
Currently, Asia is dominating the list of biggest beer industries in 2020, with Tsingtao, China’s second biggest brewery making number 6. It has 15% of the domestic market share and in the biggest country in the world, that is a huge achievement. The company is another one over 100 years old.
5. Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP)
We are finally in the US of A with Molson Coors, formed by the merger of two companies in US and Canada. Statistics which I just made up say there is a huge chance that 10% of the people reading this article have a Coors can in their other hand.
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The Danish company is over 150 years old, but there seem to be no signs of it slowing down at all. With a catchy tagline of ‘Probably the best beer in the world’, it has certainly held on to its global market share, with their flagship beer being of course, Carlsberg. The company has over 41,000 employees.
3. China Resources Snow Breweries
We told you that Tsingtao was the second biggest beer company in China, and this is why. The company is only 27 years old, but has a market share in China of 21%, which again, is immense in a country with over a billion people.
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Visit any European country, and you can’t go to any store without Heineken cans staring back at you. While the company is Dutch and incredibly popular in Europe, it has its admirers in the US too, where it provides millions of barrels of beer each year, a number which will only increase with time.
1. Anheuser-Busch InBev
It may have sold off some of its businesses to Asahi, but the Anheuser-Busch InBev still tops the list of 11 largest beer companies in the world in 2020. With annual sales exceeding a mind-boggling $50 billion in 2019, thanks to its flagship Budweiser it seems unlikely that any company can come close to dethroning it. Inbev had 28% of the global market share in 2017, and for one company to have that hold in a global company is actually quite hard to fathom.
LunaseeStudios/Shutterstock.com Disclosure: None. 11 Largest Beer Companies In The World in 2020 is originally published at Insider Monkey.