The beverage industry continued to grow over the first seven months of this year despite the difficult economic time that has resulted in many other kinds of companies struggling or going bust.

According to the Chairman of the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association, Nguyen Van Viet, the beverage industry has seen a year-on-year growth of 9.1 percent, much higher that the 5.8 percent growth recorded in the rest of the processing and manufacturing sector during the period.

It has produced over 1.6 billion litres of beer, an increase of 8.9 percent compared to last year. The majority of the market share is still controlled by the Sai Gon, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), the Hanoi Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco) and the multinational breweries Heineken and Carlsberg.

Sabeco and Habeco produced 778.8 million and 373.2 million litres of beer respectively, up 8.2 percent and 10.4 percent, while the other companies made up the other 478.6 million litres, up 8.8 percent.

In the reviewed period, non-alcoholic beverages also witnessed an impressive growth.

Vietnam ’s annual per capita consumption of soft drinks has also risen sharply in recent year, from three litres in 2007 to 23 litres at present.-VNA