Top 10 alcohol companies in the world
The alcoholic beverage industry features high on Forbes’ Global 2000 list, especially since giant conglomerates often own most of your favourite brands – so which ones made the top 10?
10 | Wuliangye Yibin
Wuliangye Yibin is a Chinese state-owned alcoholic beverage maker based in Yibin, Sichuan, which specialises in the popular Chinese distilled liquor, Baijiu. Making the #924 spot on the Global 2000, the company boast assets worth $12.8bn and a market value of over $47bn. Its flagship drink, Wuliangye, is distilled from five grains. Wuliange Yibin owns several brands of alcohol, but the company has operations across machinery, packing, logistics, finance and health. Employing 44,000 people at its main 12 sq km facility, the company currently makes a revenue of $4.4bn
9 | Molson Coors Brewing
Coming in at #672 overall, Molson Coors boasts a revenue of $10.9bn, assets of $30.2bn and Forbes places its market value at $13.1bn. The company owns the popular beer brands Coors, Molson Canadian, Blue Moon, Carling, Sharp’s and Cobra among many others. The firm employs 18,000 staff and has 31 breweries to supply over 50 markets including the US, Canada and the UK. Last year, Molson Coors set a series of sustainability targets for 2025, including encouraging responsible drinking, reducing the carbon footprint of its brewing, reducing waste, introducing best practices in agriculture and becoming known as a ‘great place to work’.
8 | Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands is a beer, wine and spirits maker which produces some of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. With a history dating back around 70 years and a #593 place on the Global 2000, the company owns a diverse range of brands. Among these are Corona and Modelo lager, Nobilo and Charles Smith wines, Black Velvet whisky and SVEDKA vodka. The company is wholly US-owned and has approximately 9,600 staff around the world. Constellation Brands also makes a revenue of $7.6bn according to Forbes, with assets of $20.5bn and a market value of $41.6bn.
7 | Kirin Holdings
Kirin Holdings is the holding company of the Japanese Kirin Group, which produces and sells not only alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from Japan and beyond, but also pharmaceutical products and biochemicals. Among its alcoholic brands are Smirnoff vodka, Kirin beer, Myanmar beer and Casillero del Diablo wine. The company comes in at #505 on the Global 2000, owning assets of $21.1bn. Kirin dates back to the 1800s when it began as the Japan Brewery Company, and has since grown successfully to employ over 31,000 people, bringing in a revenue of $16.6bn.
6 | Asahi Group Holdings
The Asahi Group is another Japanese alcohol maker, this time specialising in brewing, not least the most popular beer in Japan, Asahi. Coming in at #477 on the Global 2000, Asahi owns assets worth $29bn. The group also produces spirits, soft drinks and food for markets across the globe. Some of is popular overseas brands include Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquel, and its nine breweries are spread across eight countries. Marketing its products particularly in Asia Pacific as well as North America and Europe, the company states its drinks are enjoyed in over 80 regions. In all, the company employs just under 40,000 staff and brings in a revenue of over $19bn.
5 | Kewichow Moutai
Kweichow Moutai is based in Guizhou, China, and is most famous for its flagship Chinese liquor, Moutai. Similar to Wuliangye, this is another grain-based distilled liquor which is popular in the country. Aside from Moutai liquor, the company actually as a diverse range of operations producing and selling food, drinks and packaging, as well as technology ventures like IT research and development and anti-counterfeit technology. The business is partially state owned and was founded in 1999, having grown to own $21.4bn worth of assets and bring in around $8.5bn in revenue. This company’s workforce of around 24,000 all help bring it to #468 on the Global 2000 list, and Moutai is also considered to be the leading luxury brand in China.
4 | Pernod Ricard
Coming in at #458 overall on the Forbes Global 2000, Pernod Ricard owns assets worth $25.8bn and has a market value of over $43bn. The French business has been in operation since 1975and produces distilled beverages including, as the name would suggest, Pernod. Currently, Pernod Ricard has around 18,500 staff and boasts that is has ‘the most comprehensive portfolio in the industry’. A bold claim, but certainly backed up by the number of international alcohol brands it owns, including but not limited to Beefeater, Absolut, Jameson, Havana Club, Jacobs Creek and Chivas Regal. This affords Pernod Ricard a revenue of just under $25bn.
3 | Heineken Holding
Aside from its flagship lager, Heineken also owns a range of beer brands, including Amstel, Tiger, Red Stripe and Birra Moretti. In 2007, it took over cider brands Strongbow and Bulmers as well as John Smith’s and Newcastle Brown ales, and it also added FEMSA Cerveza, a Mexican brewery, to its portfolio in 2010. The Dutch brewer was founded in 1864 and remains based in the Netherlands, though as a holding company employs over 76,000 people across the globe earning a revenue of just under $25bn. Forbes places Heineken at #390 on the Global 2000 thanks to its market value of $28.5bn and assets worth over $51bn.
2 | Diageo
Diageo is the world’s largest spirit producer and owns a vast array of household names in the alcoholic beverage sector including beers, wines and spirits. Among its 200 brands include Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Guinness, Jameson, Bailey’s and Johnnie Walker. It also owns a minority stake in Moēt Hennessey. Diageo’s products reach over 180 countries and it has offices across 80 locations. The company began in 1997 in Britain, where it remains based, and has already grown to a market value of over $89bn. It comes in at #272 overall on the Global 2000 and owns assets of $40.7bn with its revenue reaching $15.7bn according to Forbes.
1 | AB InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) is the world’s largest beverage company. The Belgian brewer makes beer for brands all over the world, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s. The company also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with Zoleka Lisa, Procurement Director of Capabilities and Sustainability, recently telling Food, Drink and Franchise World magazine: “At its heart, AB InBev is a brewery which cares… this allows us to be strong industry leaders in the business as far as sustainability goes. Sustainability is not just related to our business, it is our business.” AB InBev boasts a market value of $184.3bn and its 182,900 employees all work to maintain the company at its #41 spot on the Global 2000 list, with its most recent revenue coming in at $56.36bn.