craft beer sales

Industry consolidation watch: beer

Eric Garland DataLab

Anheuser-Busch InBev said on Wednesday that it had approached SABMiller about a potential takeover, in a deal that, if it passed antitrust muster, would combine the world’s largest beer makers into a global giant.

This actually fits a classic pattern of industrial disruption from an innovator. Craft beer is behaving toward mega-brand beers like mini-mills impacted steel and digital photography eventually took down Kodak. This is well described in Clayton Christensen’s classic tome The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Since megabrands cannot imitate the behavior of small, niche, local brewers, their only strategic move left is consolidation to achieve profit through scale, efficiency, and sheer muscle.

Look out for more of this in the beer sector of food & beverage.

Learn more about industry consolidation trends and how to manage them in Eric Garland’s Future Inc: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What’s NEXT, on sale in the shop.