Consulting Report | 16 Jan 2024

The economic contribution of beer in lower income countries

In 2022, Oxford Economics published a study of the global beer sector’s economic footprint across 70 countries, conducted on behalf of the Worldwide Brewing Alliance and using 2019 data. In this report, we investigate further the importance of the beer sector in lower income economies.

Adrian Cooper, CEO of Oxford Economics, discussing the economic contribution of the beer industry during Davos 2024.

The beer sector already supports relatively larger shares of economic value in lower income economies. In 2019, the beer sector’s contribution to GDP in lower income countries averaged 1.6%, almost double its contribution to GDP in higher income countries (an average of 0.9% of national GDP). In contrast, average beer consumption in lower income countries was only one third of the beer consumed by their counterparts in high income countries.

In this report, we demonstrate that the beer sector could make even larger economic contributions in lower income countries. If individuals switched their alcoholic beverages consumption to beer to reach a level of consumption similar to other lower income countries with higher levels of beer consumption, such as Honduras and Cambodia, we estimate that the total gross value added contribution by the beer sector could rise to an average of 2.2% of GDP across lower income economies. In the report, we also explore the key challenges for the beer sector to grow, focusing on disposable income levels, relative prices and taxation, consumer preferences and the role of illicit market.

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The experts behind the research

Our Economic Consulting team are world leaders in quantitative economic analysis, working with clients around the globe and across sectors to build models, forecast markets and evaluate interventions using state-of-the art techniques. Lead consultants on this project were:

Francesca Biagini

Lead Economist, Economic Consulting

Sami Hamroush

Associate Director, Economic Consulting

Other economists to be credited for this report:

Mohammad Shafat

Economist, Economic Consulting

Tacye Hong

Graduate Economist, Economic Consulting

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