AmBev, or the American Beverage Company, is the largest drinks business in Latin America, and the local arm of global brewing giant AB InBev, controlled via a 72% shareholding. (The remaining shares are publicly quoted). It dominates the Brazilian market with around 66% share. Its single biggest brand by volumes is Skol, produced under long-term license from Carlsberg. That is the country's #1 beer with close to 33% share. Brahma is the country's #2 brand, followed by Antarctica and Bohemia. AmBev is also the country's #2 soft drinks company (after Coca-Cola). Its brands include Antarctica Guarana, the #2 soft drink in Brazil after Coke, local PepsiCo brands under license and local products including fruit-flavoured Sukita and H2OH! flavoured water. AmBev also has an extensive footprint across most other Latin markets. Subsidiary Quilmes Industrial SA, known as Quinsa, has a virtual monopoly of the beer market in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, and a dominant 76% share in Argentina. AmBev is also active in Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. Regional national brands include Quilmes (in Argentina), Presidente (in the Dominican Republic), Becker (in Peru), Pacena (in Bolivia), Pilsen and Patricia (in Uruguay), as well as several hyper-regional brands produced and distributed only in certain areas of Brazil. Of course AmBev also manages the AB InBev portfolio locally including Budweiser, Bud Light, Corona Extra, Stella Artois and others. The group was formed in 1999 from the merger of Antarctica Paulista and Companhia Cervejaria Brahma, long-established rivals in the Brazilian beer industry for more than 100 years. In 2004 the company, then an independent business controlled by investors Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Sicupira , agreed terms for a reverse takeover of Belgian group Interbrew, to create InBev. That deal extended AmBev's presence into North America for the first time, with the absorption of Canadian brewer Labatt. The latter is still legally a unit of Ambev rather than of the parent AB InBev entity. AmBev was already on friendly terms with North America's reigning brewery giant Anheuser-Busch. That relationship got very much closer at the end of 2008 following completion of Anheuser's acquisition by InBev. Jean Jereissati Neto is CEO. AB InBev's combined revenues from Latin America (which it divides into "Middle Americas" and "South America") were $22.0bn (or 41% of the group total) in 2021, including around $6.6bn from Brazil. However, Latin America accounts for just over half of total group volumes. Ambev itself reported volumes of 180.4bn hl in 2021, of which two-thirds was consumed in Brazil. Exchange rates have depressed US$ equivalent revenues for several years - the figure for 2021 was $13.5bn with net profit of $2.4bn, but reported revenues in local currency surged by 25% to R$72.9bn, of which just under half was generated in Brazil. Total figures include Labatt in Canada.
Which agencies handle advertising for AmBev? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments.
Who are the competitors of AmBev? AmBev's two main competitors in Brazilian beer are Heineken (approx 18% share) and Petropolis (14%). Its main rival in soft drinks is Coca-Cola with 61% share in 2016 (to AmBev's 19%). See Beer and Non Alcoholic Beverages Sector index for other companies.
Capsule checked 9th December 2021
Adbrands Social Media 15th May 2019: "Drink Right, F*** Right". Interesting to see that all the big beer producers are gradually falling into line over responsible drinking. Heineken has chosen to tackle the less contentious issue of drink and driving ("When You Drink Never Drive"); trust those cheeky Brazilians to go all-in with an even more daring message, and slogan. Wieden & Kennedy Sao Paulo narrowly avoids the censors with this bold and brilliantly animated campaign for Skol lager, from AB InBev's local subsidiary Ambev. It's Brazil's top-selling beer by quite a margin so clearly it can take a few chances that other brewers might be too scared to risk.
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