2010 global beer consumption up 2.4% on growth in emerging nations

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Global beer consumption rose 2.4 percent in 2010 from the previous year to 182.69 million kiloliters, hitting a record for the 25th straight year, backed by strong demand in emerging economies, a Kirin Holdings Co. research arm said Wednesday.

The Japanese beverage maker’s Kirin Institute of Food & Lifestyle said the amount is enough to fill the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium 147 times.

The amount of beer drunk in Europe, North America and Oceania dropped in 2010 from a year earlier, partly due to the economic slump following the financial crisis, but consumption rose in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Asia remained the world’s biggest beer-consuming area in the year with 61.41 million kl, up 5.3 percent. The region accounted for 33.6 percent of global consumption, followed by Europe with 27.7 percent, Latin America with 16.2 percent, North America with 14.5 percent and Africa with 6.1 percent.

By country, China retained top spot for the eighth consecutive year with 44.68 million kl, up 5.9 percent. The United States ranked second with 24.14 million kl, down 1.4 percent.

Among the top 25 countries on the list, consumption rose significantly in Brazil, India, Nigeria and Vietnam, registering increases of 16.0 percent, 17.0 percent, 17.2 percent and 15.0 percent respectively.

In Japan, which came seventh on the list, the amount of beer drunk in the country in 2010 declined 2.8 percent to 5.81 million kl, affected by the aging of the population and the diversification of consumer tastes, the institute said.

Per capita beer consumption in Japan amounted to 45.4 liters in 2010, the largest among Asian countries but 38th on Kirin’s list.