Despite declining per capita beer consumption and relatively flat volume growth across traditional North American and European markets, producers in the global been manufacturing market benefited from phenomenal growth in higher-value craft and foreign-label beers during the past five years. At the same time, rising disposable incomes and consumers shifting from locally produced, subsistence products to higher-quality, attractively branded beer underpinned rising beer consumption and strong volume growth in emerging markets.
Consequently, although a dip in disposable income in 2009 resulted in a slight decline that year, industry revenue grew an estimated 3.6% per year on average to $141.7 billion in the five years to 2013. This growth includes an anticipated 3.2% increase in 2013 as brewery marketing and distribution expansion efforts pay off in emerging economies.
The industry has undergone significant consolidation during the past five years. In late 2011, for example, SABMiller snared Australian brewer Foster's Group and in late 2012 AB InBev made a bid to acquire Grupo Modelo, which is still pending legal review. Heineken and Carlsberg jointly acquired Scottish and Newcastle before splitting its global assets. Other major players, including Ambev and Japanese brewers Asahi and Kirin, have also been busy, expanding via acquisitions and investments in new facilities.
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