At 44.4% of the worldwide total, liquor is the largest alcoholic beverages export category. International liquor sales increased in value by 1.2% from 2018 to 2019.
In comparison, exports of wine declined by -4.9% from $38.2 billion in 2018 to $36.3 billion in 2019 for 37.8% of the global total. Export sales of malt beer retreated by -1.8% year over year, representing 16.2% of all alcoholic drinks shipped during 2019.
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 2019. Shown within parenthesis is the country where each colossus has its headquarters.
- Anheuser-Busch InBev: US$52.3 billion (Belgium) down -7.3% from 2018 to 2019
- Heineken Holding: $26.8 billion (Netherlands) up 8.5%
- Asahi Group Holdings: $19.2 billion (Japan) down -1%
- Kirin Holdings: $17.8 billion (Japan) up 7.2%
- Diageo: $16.8 billion (United Kingdom) up 7%
- Suntory Holdings: $11.9 billion (Japan) up 8.2%
- Kweichow Moutai: $11.3 billion (China) up 32.9%
- Pernod Ricard: $10.6 billion (France) up 3.9%
- Molson Coors Brewing: $10.4 billion (United States) down -4.6%
- Carlsberg: $9.9 billion (Denmark) up 5.3%
- Thai Beverage: $8.7 billion (Thailand) up 55.4%
- Constellation Brands: $8.3 billion (United States) up 9.2%
- Wuliangye Yibin: $5.2 billion (China) up 18.2%
- Brown-Forman: $3.4 billion (United States) up 6.2%
- Jiangsu Yanghe Brewery: $2.7 billion (China) down -6.9%
From 2018 to 2019, Asian beverage titan Thai Beverage posted the fastest increase in international sales via its 55.4% gain. Two Chinese behemoths, Kweichow Moutai (up 32.9%) and Wuliangye Yibin (up 18.2%) reported the next strongest year-over-year sales improvements. American conglomerate Constellation Brands (up 9.2%), Dutch stalwart Heineken Holding (up 8.5%) and Japanese competitor Suntory Holdings (up 8.2%) also posted respectable gains.
There were 4 decliners namely Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev (down -7.3%), China’s Jiangsu Yanghe Brewery (down -6.9%), America’s Molson Coors Brewing (down -4.6%) and Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings (down -1%).
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 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of top alcoholic beverages company compiled for this study: Anheuser-Busch InBev. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 25, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Suntory Holdings Net Sales, Financial Information. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Suntory Holdings Overview, Alcoholic Beverages Percentage Total Sales (37%). Accessed on August 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Category: Brand name alcohol products. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Grupo Modelo. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Wikipedia, International Federation of Spirits Producers. Accessed on August 25, 2020
Wikipedia, SABMiller. Accessed on August 25, 2020