Anheuser-Busch InBev: Managing for Growth in a Mature Market

Will AB InBev’s strategy and culture enable it to continue to grow revenues and profits in a mature global beer market?

Len Sherman  | Fall 2017
Print this page


In 2016, AB InBev enjoyed an industry-leading 30% share of the global beer market (nearly twice as large as its closest competitor). Known for its acquisition-driven growth in mature markets, the company brought operational discipline—characterized by a war on waste, zero-based annual budgeting, shared-services functional integration, standardized business processes, and working capital efficiencies—to its acquired companies.  This case takes closer look at AB  InBev’s growth strategy—and how its commitment to “big dreams, best people, and a culture which relentlessly strives for excellence” has contributed to the company’s past success, including the post-acquisition growth experienced by Labatt Breweries of Canada. However, with US operations facing sales declines over the previous five years, this case asks students to consider whether AB InBev in 2018 needs a strategy shift going forward, one that creates the right balance of operational efficiency with growth and innovation.

Case ID: 180503

Buy select cases through Ivey Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing.

Contact us by e-mail at Columbia CaseWorks or 646-745-8495.