Belgium is home to the largest beverage brand in the world. Anheuser-Busch InBev, more commonly known as AB InBev, is a multinational giant with offices in many countries. Its product portfolio boasts 200 different trademarks, many of which are among the world’s most valuable brands. Here is a look at the impact Belgium’s biggest brand has in the country and on the world.
AB InBev is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. It has offices in New York, London, Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, and many other hubs. The brand owns an astounding 630 beer labels in 150 countries. Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, and Beck are just some of these names. AB InBev’s annual report records an annual revenue of EUR 44.21 billion (USD 52.3 billion) in 2018. That amounts to 10% of Belgium’s GDP of EUR 447.5 billion (USD 529.67 billion) during the same year. AB InBev is not merely a company, it’s an economy.
AB InBev presently enjoys a rank of 205 on the Fortune 500 Global List. Over the years it has made 15 appearances on that list. The company ranked 174 on Forbes Magazine’s 2020 Global 2000 Companies list. Its market cap stands at EUR 92.97 billion (USD 109.9 billion).
Ahead of the competition
AB InBev is unarguably the largest beer producer in the world. It produces 567 million hectoliters of beer globally, which is more than double their closest competitor Heineken (241.4 million hectoliters). AB InBev captured almost 30% of the global beer market in 2018. The Washington Post estimates that every third beer sold in the world might be an AB InBev product. The company has been in the leadership position in its domain for more than a decade.
One big family
AB InBev’s company profile on Bloomberg states that it employs 171,915 people globally. This includes subsidiaries and sister companies outside of Belgium. In Belgium AB InBev has 2,700 employees. A sizable percentage of these are migrants and expats. The Acerta HR consultancy group has found that 14.1% of private sector employees in Belgium are foreign nationals. Based on these estimates AB InBev would seem to employ about 400 migrant workers in Belgium and 24,000 globally.
Global leadership demands global talent. AB InBev regularly hires management graduates from countries like Japan, UK, Spain, China, and Brazil. Its offices feature a rich mix of nationalities. Foreign hires get all the help they need while settling into their new roles and locales. Not least of this is the help AB InBev extends to its new employees in obtaining visas and sponsorships. Interns at AB InBev speak highly of the brand. Most migrant workers in Belgium send remittances to their families via channels like the Ria Money Transfer App. The relationship benefits both employees and employer. Having a diverse and global minded resource pool creates a key advantage. It enables AB InBev to fully understand and capture its target market in every world region where it sells.
In recent years AB InBev has adopted a strategy of ‘premiumizing’ its brands, selling its beers at slightly higher prices in a bid to combat slowing growth. The strategy paid off. AB InBev’s global revenues grew by 4.4% in 2019. The company plans to stick to this strategy in the near future. It plans to launch new ‘premium’ versions of many of its labels. Investors and analysts predict that AB InBev will see stable growth at 11% annually over the next 5 years. AB InBev is planning to expand more into developing markets like India, Brazil, Mexico, and China.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN is important to AB InBev leadership. To this end they have set their own internal goals for the company. AB InBev will seek to achieve its 71 sustainability goals by 2025. Some of these include using 100% recyclable packaging, reducing CO2 emissions by 25%, and ensuring that 100% of the electricity used in its facilities is generated from renewable sources.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.