Global exports for alcoholic beverages totaled US$97.2 billion in 2018, up by 8.6% from $89.5 billion during 2014.
At 43.2% of the worldwide total, liquor is the largest alcoholic beverage export category. International liquor sales increased in value by 7.8% from 2017 to 2018.
In comparison, exports of malt beer appreciated by 14.9% from $13.7 billion to $15.7 billion or 16.2% of the global sum. Exported wine sales grew by 7.4% from $35.4 billion in 2014 to $38 billion representing 39.1% of all alcoholic beverages shipped during 2018.
Largest Alcoholic Beverages Companies
Below are the world’s largest alcoholic beverages companies ordered by total annual sales (both domestic and international) reported as of December 2018. Shown within parenthesis is the location where each conglomerate has its headquarters.
- Anheuser-Busch InBev: US$56.4 billion (Belgium) up 23.7%
- Heineken Holding: $24.7 billion (Netherlands) up 7.4%
- Asahi Group Holdings: $19.4 billion (Japan) up 23.6%
- Kirin Holdings: $16.6 billion (Japan) down -13.1%
- Diageo: $15.7 billion (United Kingdom) up 3.3%
- Suntory Holdings: $11 billion (Japan) up 21.3%
- Molson Coors Brewing: $10.9 billion (United States) up 122.4%
- Pernod Ricard: $10.2 billion (France) up 5.2%
- Carlsberg: $9.4 billion (Denmark) up 1.1%
- Kweichow Moutai: $8.5 billion (China) up 70%
- Constellation Brands: $7.6 billion (United States) up 4.1%
- Thai Beverage: $5.6 billion (Thailand) up 5.7%
- Wuliangye Yibin: $4.4 billion (China) up 29.4%
- Brown-Forman: $3.2 billion (United States) up 6.7%
- Jiangsu Yanghe Brewery: $2.9 billion (China) up 11.5%
From 2017 to the latest reporting period, an American beverage giant Molson Coors Brewing posted the fastest increase in international sales via its 122.4% gain. Two Chinese behemoths, Kweichow Moutai (up 70%) and Wuliangye Yibin (up 29.4%) reported the next strongest year-over-year sales improvements.
Japan’s Kirin Holdings was the sole decliner thanks to its -13.1% slowdown in sales compared to 2017.
Please note that company sales may include products other than alcoholic beverages. Companies like Asahi Group Holdings also sells non-alcoholic products like soft drinks. Others like Wuliangye Yibin make products for other industries ranging from precision plastic products and car molds to electronics and logistics services.
See also Wine Exports by Country, Top Vodka Exporters and Beer Exports by Country
Forbes 2017 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top alcoholic beverages company compiled for this study: Anheuser-Busch InBev. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Forbes 2017 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 30, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Suntory Holdings Net Sales, Financial Information. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Suntory Holdings Overview, Alcoholic Beverages Percentage Total Sales (37%). Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, Category: Brand name alcohol products. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, Grupo Modelo. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, International Federation of Spirits Producers. Accessed on September 30, 2019
Wikipedia, SABMiller. Accessed on September 30, 2019