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10 drinks giants and the brands some consider ‘craft’

Think you buy craft drinks? Take another look at the brands owned by the world’s biggest drinks companies.

People looking to support independent companies this Christmas may want to refamiliarise themselves with the brands owned by the world’s drinks giants. In a recent report detailing revenue and sales for the world’s biggest drinks businesses, many popular brand names resurfaced which many will look to buy this festive season.

To inform those who would like to strive to buy independent brands, this top 10 shows the companies that make the most money across the alcoholic beverage industry.

AB InBev
Revenue: US$57.7 billion
AB InBev, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, is the largest of all alcohol companies in the world. It has a portfolio of over 500 beers that span more than 100 countries. According to Its 2022 year-end revenue, it showed 11.2% organic growth. Just some of its most famous brands are Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Corona, Brahma as well as Camden Town. InBev also produces brands, such as Harbin, Skol and Quilmes in select regions.

Sales: US$18.11 billion
Diageo has over 200 brands across more than 180 countries and 132 production sites, which means its distilleries produce 40% of all Scotch whisky in the world. Among its Scotch brands there is Johnnie Walker, J&B and Grand Old Parr. It owns the beer brand Guinness and in terms of spirits brands it owns Smirnoff, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, Don Julio and Crown Royal.

Revenue: US$16.6 billion
Asahi is also known to be Japan’s largest beer producer by both volume and revenue and has headquarters in Tokyo and production sites in more than 60 countries.
Asahi’s five main beer brands include: Asahi Super Dry, Peroni Nastro Azzuro, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch and Kozel. It also owns Nikka Whisky. It also owns Fuller’s in the UK and with that the Dark Star beer brands as well as Meantime Brewery’s beer brands too.

Revenue: US$13.1 billion
Kirin dates back to 1885 with the founding of the Japan Brewery Company and by 1888 launched a lager brand named Kirin which became a hit. Eventually, the company was named Kirin Brewery in 1907, with the takeover of the business of Japan Brewery Company.
Kirin’s portfolio includes beers, whiskies, vodkas and shochu as well as Japanese wines. Some of its brands are: Kirin Ichiban, Honkirin, Château Mercian and Four Roses.

Pernod Ricard
Net sales: US$11.33 billion
The French wine and spirits company, headquartered in Paris, produces 240 brands.
Some of its brands include: Perrier-Jouët, Absolut Vodka, Chivas, The Glenlivet, Jacob’s Creek, Campo Viejo and Stoneleigh.

Molson Coors
Net sales: US$10.7 billion
Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Canadian-American drinks company has under it over 60 beer brands. These include: Carling, Staropramen, Coors, Miller, Aguila, Bavaria, Molson Canadian and Black Ice. Madrí Excepcional is also made by Molson Coors and is positioned as a “modern European lager” but is brewed in the Tower Brewery in Tadcaste, halfway between York and Leeds in the UK. According to reports, the company’s brand low calorie variants Coors Light and Miller Lite also recently posted their strongest combined full-year dollar share performance in a decade in the US.

Revenue: US$10 billion
The Danish company is one of the world’s largest beer producers, with around 700 brands, including brands such as: Carlsberg, Krinenbourg, Tuborg, Holsten, Aldaris, Gorkha, Grimbergen and Okocim.
Carlsberg posted a 15.6% organic growth in revenue in 2022 over the previous year and a 12.2% organic growth in profit in the same period. In the UK, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) has been formed out of a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s PLC, who are both shareholders. CMBC’s portfolio also includes beers brewed under license. These include standard Carlsberg, Carlsberg Expørt and Poretti along with cask and packaged ale brands such as: Hobgoblin, Marston’s Pedigree, Tetley’s, Wainwright and 61 Deep. The brands it brews under license include: San Miguel, Mahou, Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin.

Constellation Brands
Sales: US$9.5 billion
Constellation Brands, headquartered in New York, has most of its business in the US, but also has a presence in New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy and Mexico.
The company’s portfolio includes brands such as: Modelo, Corona, Ruffino, Schrader, SIMI, Casa Noble Tequila, Mi Campo and Svedka Vodka. Its beer business alone reportedly made around US$7.4 billion of its total net sales for the year ended February 2023.

Revenue: US$7.5 billion
French multinational LVMH is the world’s biggest luxury goods group and is usually associated with fashion, but it is also one of the largest alcohol companies in the world.
The wine and spirits business of the group has 25 houses producing some of the world’s most famous brands including: Moët & Chandon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Hennessy and Château d’Yquem. Added to this, some of its vineyards including Domaine des Lambrays and Dom Pérignon are several centuries old.

Revenue: US$5.2 billion
Suntory is Japan’s largest drinks business and has its headquarters in Osaka. It gained a major foothold in the US when it acquired Beam in 2014 for US$16 billion to form Beam Suntory. It has operations in over 85 countries and its alcoholic products include Japanese whisky brands such as: Hakushu, Hibiki, Kakubin and Yamazaki, as well as several other spirit brands including: Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Canadian Club, Laphroaig, Glen Garioch, Akadama, Hornitos, Pinnacle, Haku and Roku.

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