When Brazil was a dependency of Portugal, wine was much more popular than beer; the reason was that Portuguese were producers and exporters of wine, and thus wanted to secure the Brazilian market. Only after the Independence, in 1822, did Brazilians begin to import beer from Britain and other European countries.
Brazil have climatic conditions which favor the cultivation of all
ingredients of beer; the tropical weather and the abundance of beaches helped Brazilians fall in love with beer.
Today, each Brazilian drinks an average of 47 liters of beer per year (source:
Latin American Association of Beer Manufacturers
); first in ranking is Czech Republic (158 liters per year), followed by Germany (115), United Kingdom (97), Australia (92), United States (84), Spain (75), Japan (56), Mexico (50) and Brazil. The combined production of all Brazilian factories (included the exported beer) has been a little above 8 billion liters per year.
The biggest producer of beer in Brazil is
Ambev; the name is short for American Beverage. Ambev controls more than half of the Brazilian beer market; there was ample discussion about the convenience of allowing the merging of two other large corporations which resulted in Ambev; Ambev convinced the government authorities with the reasoning that only with the merge would a Brazilian company stand a chance to compete in the international markets. In 2004, Ambev joined with Belgium group Interbrew, creating the biggest beer group in the world, as measured by volume produced.
Ambev produces the following beers:
Antarctica. Skol is the undisputed market leader, while the other two brands fight with other competitors:
(the Coca-Cola group had a participation in this beer - only venture of the group in the alcoholic market; Coca sold its shares to Canadian Molson),
(the oldest Brazilian brand still existant; established in 1854) and
There are several other brands, many local and regional, which donīt have much relevance in the national market.
Even with the clear predominance of Ambev, the competition for small shares of market is fierce. For example, just until 2002, Schin was a minor player; in 2003, the company invested massive cash in a publicitary campaign, which allowed them to gain a few points (worty milions of bottles and $$$) and fight over the second position in market share; as a result, 2004 saw a sharp increase in beer marketing.
Brazilians donīt complain much about beer propaganda; besides loving beer, they love the beautiful women that often appear on commercials; visit the next link to check out samples of
women in beer commercials in Brazil.
For more information about Brazilian beer, visit the sites below (all in Portuguese only):
Republica da Cerveja
(The Beer Republic); congregation of people who produce beer in small scale; tips on how to produce, recognize and enjoy good beer.
Professionals of Beer
site maintained by people who work in the beer market
maintained by the industry; updated information about the market
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