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How AB InBev is brewing economic growth in emerging markets

Posted: January 16, 2024
How AB InBev is brewing economic growth in emerging markets
How AB InBev is brewing economic growth in emerging markets
How AB InBev is brewing economic growth in emerging markets

Beer is a formidable engine of growth, as shown in Beer’s Global Economic Footprint, a first-of-its-kind report published by Oxford Economics on behalf of the Worldwide Brewing Alliance. The report demonstrates how beer plays an important role in driving economic and social development around the globe between its job creation, tax revenue and contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP).

It also highlights that the beer sector has greater economic significance in emerging markets – representing 1.6% of GDP versus 0.9% in more developed nations. And in a new report released this week, Oxford Economics digs deeper into the economic contribution of beer in emerging markets, finding it could be even bigger in places like India, Ghana and others if market conditions were more like those in higher income countries.

So what makes beer an economic powerhouse?

Beer is local, with natural ingredients that are often from local agriculture. About 90% of all beer sector supplies are produced in the country of sale. As a result, brewing delivers outsized economic benefits to local communities through a value chain spanning agriculture, retail, hospitality and more.

Man kneeling in a Barley Field.
AB InBev provides training and resources to thousands of barley farmers across India to help improve yields and income

For example, in India, where the beer sector is poised for notable growth in coming years, we operate 10 breweries and employ over 4,000 people. Our diverse portfolio of locally made beer brands includes Budweiser, Budweiser Magnum, Corona, Hoegaarden and low and no-alcohol options to promote moderation, such as Budweiser Beats️ energy drink. AB InBev India has invested in over 500 water recharge structures in communities nationwide, offers an entrepreneurship initiative that’s helped establish 1,000 family-run businesses, and teaches sustainable and modern farming practices to help enhance crop yields and income for more than 2,000 barley growers.

Helping local farmers build more resilient businesses is a priority for AB InBev globally. In 2022, we worked with nearly 24,000 direct farmers, of which more than 75% were smallholders, who often lack access to quality inputs, appropriate financing and technical training. With AgriFriend, a startup from our 100+ Accelerator, we recently completed a pilot digital training program for 3,000 Ugandan farmers on agricultural and financial topics such as soil preservation, budgeting and saving.

For the small retailers who sell our products, we invest in digital innovations and initiatives, such as Growing Retailers Innovatively Together (GRIT). The training and development program was first launched to bar and retail owners in Botswana, and is now being offered across Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana.

Photo of people receiving an award.
In Uganda, the newly launched GRIT program teaches entrepreneurship, digital and financial skills, and aims to reach 14,000 retailers nationwide.

“Most of the retailers have not had formal training on business management, they learn on the go and this is the gap we are working to close. We are empowering them with business, accounting, record keeping and cash flow skills to help run their businesses effectively,” said Adu Rando, Managing Director of Nile Breweries.

“The retailers will have access to an ongoing coaching and mentoring program to support their continuous development. We believe that strengthening our retailers in turn strengthens the communities that they serve and ultimately works to grow businesses.”

This week creating growth and jobs is one of the top priorities at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. See how we are investing billions to spur economic growth and jobs, and follow us on LinkedIn for more from AB InBev at WEF.

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