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December 22, 2010

Kirin Institute of Food and Lifestyle Report Vol. 29
Global Beer Consumption by Country in 2009

Annual Beer Consumption Remains on Growth Track in Asia, up 70% in a Decade; Brazil Overtakes Russia to Become the Third-Largest Beer-Consuming Country in the World

Kirin Institute of Food and Lifestyle—a research arm of Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd. (President and CEO: Senji Miyake)—today published a report on global beer consumption by country and by region for 2009. This report is based on findings derived from questionnaires the company sent to brewers associations in major countries and the latest statistics available overseas. Kirin has been tracking global beer consumption since 1975.

Summary of Report
Global beer consumption amounted to 177.27 million kiloliters in 2009, up 0.1% from 2008—an increase for the 24th consecutive year.
China remained the largest beer-consuming country in the world for the seventh consecutive year, consuming 7.8% more beer in 2009 than in 2008. Brazil, where annual beer consumption increased by 4.4%, became the third-largest beer-consuming country in the world for the first time, overtaking Russia, which consumed 8.3% less beer compared with the previous year.
Annual beer consumption continued to grow in Asia, where 5.7% more beer was consumed in 2009 than in 2008; beer consumption in Europe and North America decreased by 6.1% and 1.7%, respectively. These contrasting performances allowed Asia to take a larger share (32.8%) of the global market in 2009 than in 2008.

In 2009, global beer consumption amounted to 177.27 million kiloliters, the equivalent of 280 billion 633-milliliter bottles. This was an increase of 110,000 kiloliters (the equivalent of 170 million 633-ml bottles), or 0.1%, from 2008, marking the 24th consecutive annual increase.

1. Global Beer Consumption by Region in 2009 (Table 1)

China remained the largest beer-consuming country in the world for the seventh consecutive year since 2003.

Brazil, where annual beer consumption increased 4.4% from the previous year, became the world's third-largest beer-consuming country for the first time, overtaking Russia, which consumed 8.3% less beer from the year before—its first year-on-year drop in 11 years since 1998.

Japan remained at seventh place in a ranking of the world's top beer-consuming countries in 2009 as in 2008. Its annual beer consumption in 2009 decreased by 2.1% from 2008, affected by the low birthrate and the aging of the population as well as by the changing consumer taste in beverages.

2. Global Beer Consumption by Region in 2009 (Table 2)

Beer consumption increased by 5.7% in Asia in 2009 from the year before, while it decreased by 6.1% in Europe amid challenging economic conditions, and by 1.7% in North America. Latin America, where 1.4% more beer was consumed in 2009 than in 2008, increased its share of the global market to 15.5%, overtaking North America to become the third-largest beer-consuming region in the world.

Asia increased its share to 32.8% in the global market in 2009, thanks to growing demands for beer in China, Vietnam, and India—where annual beer consumption increased by 7.8%, 14.2%, and 10.0%, respectively, from the previous year.

In Europe, 6.1% less beer was consumed in 2009 than in 2008; beer consumption in Russia, the largest beer-consuming country in Europe, was down 8.3% in 2009 from the previous year, as it was in Eastern European countries including Poland (down 9.5%), Ukraine (down 7.0%), and Romania (down 12.9%)—all three had seen growth in 2008.

3. Per-Capita Beer Consumption by Country in 2009 (Table 3)

The Czech Republic led all other nations in per-capita beer consumption for the 17th consecutive year. Among the top 35 countries ranked by per-capita beer consumption, only seven saw an increase in consumption from 2008 to 2009. Japan—which consumed 46.9 liters of beer on a per-capita basis in 2009, more than any other country in Asia—saw a per-capita decline of the equivalent of one-and-a-half 633-ml bottles compared with the previous year.

  • Note: Consumption volume in Japan is a combination of beer, low-malt beer, and no-malt beer.
  • Note: Numbers for 2008 reflect the latest available data and may not be consistent with those published in the report for 2008.
  • Source: Questionnaire surveys Kirin Institute of Food and Lifestyle conducted with brewers associations in major countries; The World Beer Market: The 2010/11 Survey published by the ERC Group; and The Barth Report Hops 2009/2010 published by the BARTH-HAAS Group

Table 1: Global Beer Consumption by Country in 2009

  • Note:Consumption volume in Japan is a combination of beer, low-malt beer, and no-malt beer.

Total Volume of Global Beer Consumption
2009: 177.27 million kiloliters (up 0.1% from 2008)
2008: 177.16 million kiloliters

Comments:

  • Total volume of global beer consumption was 177.27 million kiloliters in 2009, up 0.1% from 2008 despite a weak economy, marking the 24th consecutive annual increase.
  • China remained the largest beer-consuming country in the world for the seventh consecutive year since 2003. While China's per-capita beer consumption differed between its urban regions and rural regions, its beer-drinking population increased nationwide, driven by population growth in general and higher living standards resulting from economic growth.
  • The global economic downturn dampened beer consumption in Russia, which had been consuming increasingly larger volumes of beer in recent years. Its beer consumption in 2009 declined by 8.3% from 2008, its first annual drop in 11 years since 1998.
  • Brazil, where annual beer consumption increased by 4.4% from 2008 to 2009, overtook Russia to become the world's third-largest beer-consuming country for the first time. Beer consumption in Brazil was fueled by stable economic growth stimulated by strong domestic investment, and it was also boosted by increasingly pervasive sporting events that attracted large numbers of beer-drinking spectators.
  • Japan maintained its global ranking in annual beer consumption in 2009. It consumed 2.1% less beer than in 2008, affected by the low birthrate and the aging of the population as well as by the changing consumer taste in beverages.

Table 2: Global Beer Consumption by Region in 2009

  • Note:Consumption volume in Japan is a combination of beer, low-malt beer, and no-malt beer.

Comments:

  • Beer consumption increased by 5.7% in Asia in 2009 from the year before, while it decreased by 6.1% in Europe amid challenging economic conditions, and by 1.7% in North America. These contrasting performances allowed Asia to take a larger share (32.8%) of the global market in 2009 than in 2008. Latin America, where 1.4% more beer was consumed in 2009 than in 2008, increased its share of the global market to 15.5%, overtaking North America to become the third-largest beer-consuming region in the world.
  • The growth of beer consumption in Asia seen in 2009 was driven primarily by China, Vietnam, and India, where annual beer consumption increased by 7.8%, 14.2%, and 10.0%, respectively, from 2008. In India, beer was sold through a growing number of retail outlets, which explains the increasing popularity of beer drinking at home.
  • In Europe, 6.1% less beer was consumed in 2009 than in 2008; beer consumption in Russia, the largest beer-consuming country in Europe, was down 8.3% in 2009 from 2008, as it was in Eastern European countries including Poland (down 9.5%), Ukraine (down 7.0%), and Romania (down 12.9%)—all three had seen growth in the previous year.
  • In Latin America, beer consumption in 2009 was up 1.4% from the previous year, driven by major beer-consuming countries in the region, such as Brazil (up 4.4%), Colombia (up 5.0%), and Argentina (up 4.2%).

Table 3: Per-Capita Beer Consumption by Country in 2009

  • Note:Consumption volume in Japan is a combination of beer, low-malt beer, and no-malt beer.

Comments:

  • The Czech Republic led all other nations in per-capita beer consumption for the 17th consecutive year. Among the top 35 countries ranked by per-capita beer consumption, only seven saw an increase in consumption from 2008 to 2009.
  • In Asia, a significant increase was seen in per-capita beer consumption in China and Vietnam: it increased by 70% in China from 2000 to 2009, amounting to 30.2 liters; and it increased 2.5 times in Vietnam in the same period, amounting to 24.0 liters.

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