GLOBAL – Japanese brewery giant Kirin Holdings has reported that global beer consumption stood at approximately 185.60 million kiloliters in 2021, an increase of 4.0% year-on-year, with China remaining the largest beer-consuming country in the world for the 19th consecutive year.

In its latest Global Beer Consumption Report for 2021 covering 170 major countries and regions, Kirin says China increased its consumption by 5.6% year-on-year, with a total of 38.1bn liters, taking up 20.5% of the global market share.

The Asian markets made up a total of six of the 25 top beer consumption markets worldwide, with China in first place followed by Japan (eighth), Vietnam (ninth), India (14th), South Korea (21st), and Thailand (24th).

According to the report, many other Asian markets – that are traditionally strong beer consumers – showed decreases in consumption.

Japan witnessed its first decline in 15 years with a decrease of 5.2% from the previous year to 4.1bn liters, taking a 2.3% market share. (in this article, the market share is global)

Vietnam dropped 5.5% to 4.2bn liters taking up a 5.2% market share, South Korea dropped 3.2% to 1.88bn liters to get a 1% market share and Thailand dropped 3% to 1.75bn liters and had a 0.9% market share, year-on-year.

India, which recovered significantly from 24th in 2020 to 14th place in 2021, saw a growth of 28.2%, the largest on the list, to 2.2bn liters.

However, the country only took 1.2% of the market share, largely due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the local market the year before.

Despite the general decrease across Asia, the region still came in as the top beer consumption market worldwide with 58.3bn liters, growing 3.1% year-on-year to take 31.4% or almost a third of the global market.

This was far more than its closest runner-up Europe, which consumed 49.1bn liters of beer and saw a 3.2% growth to 26.5% of the global market share. Africa came in fifth with 14.6 bn liters, a 10.7% growth in consumption, and took a 7.9% global market share.

According to Kirin, among the top 10 countries, positive growth was seen in the United States, Brazil, and Russia compared to 2019 (pre-COVID-19).

The United States took the second spot with 24.2bn liters with a 13% market share and Brazil came in third with 14.5bn liters taking a 7.8% market share, while Russia was fourth with 8.9 bn liters having a 2.8% market share.

From the report, South Africa had the second strongest growth of 19.1% to 3.9bn liters and overtook India in market share, owning a 2.1%.

Per capita ranking

In terms of per capita consumption, not a single Asian country made it into the top 30 listings worldwide, with the highest-ranked being Cambodia in the 32nd spot, with an average per capita beer consumption of 58.3 liters.

In the listing, the top ranker was the Czech Republic with 184.1 liters per capita consumption, followed by Austria with 98.7 liters, Lithuania with 96.3 liters (growing rapidly), and Romania with 95.6 liters. Nevertheless, all four countries among eight nations also showed an overall decrease in consumption in 2021.

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