The global beer market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% for the five-year period 2011 - 2016, rising from a valuation of $514,508 million in 2011, to hit an industry value of $605,911.2 million by the end of 2016.
Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented beverage.
The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv) although it may vary between 0.5% (de-alcoholised) and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above in recent years.
Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games such as bar billiards.
Emerging markets still represent the principal source of volume growth while developed markets faced weak consumer demand as a result of difficult economic conditions and shifting consumer trends through 2011.
The better performing markets, regardless of their stage of development, continued to be those in which industry leaders used brand development, innovation and partnerships to capture latent opportunities and stay ahead of changing consumer trends.
The biggest beer market, China, accounted for 43% of the world's volume growth and nearly 37% of the volume growth from emerging markets. China's top five brewers accounted for 63% of total industry volumes.
However, beer pricing remains low in China and profit margins are thin. Consolidation of the fragmented Chinese beer industry remains an important long-term trend and one that will lead eventually to greater industry profitability.
Anheuser-Busch InBev represents the world's largest beer company with a market value of $150 billion. Anheuser-Busch is head and shoulders above its competitors in terms of its brands and global positioning. It controls five of the world's top six brands.
The beer conglomerate, which owns Stella Artois and Budweiser, has a few things working in its favor right now, including a global footprint and the acquisition of Mexico's Corona-brewing Grupo Modelo.
For more information on the global beer industry, see the latest research: Global Beer Industry
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