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Mahou to make splash in India's premium beer mkt Mahou to make splash in India's premium beer mkt

Jul-01-2015 | 0 Comments

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Kolkata: The churn in the Indian beer market caused by the entry of premium foreign labels has just got an added fizz with Spanish beer giant Mahou San Miguel planning a big foray. The 100% family-owned beer maker which has just celebrated its 125th anniversary has planned to pump in 18 million euros in the next four years to brew and sell only its high-end brands here.
"India is the only country outside Spain where we have our own brewery. Considering its huge market volume and growth, we saw a tremendous opportunity here. We are operating here in the mainstream plus/premium segment. And that's how we want to demonstrate ourselves in the market along with a long-term vision," Erik d'Auchamp, CEO, Mahou India, told TOI. Premium beer brands like Heineken, Guinness, Carlsberg, Corona, Coors Lite, Foster Lager, Budweiser and Stella Artois have already made inroads into Indian market.
Currently, the Mahou beer brands — Mahou 5 Star and Dare Devil — are available in eight states across north and east India (only in West Bengal), and by 2015-end, it would enter four more states. "There is ample scope for premium players like us. We find the budding and growing consumer bid extremely interesting for our premium brands," added Erik. Euromonitor reveals that in India the per capita consumption of beer is estimated at 1.6 litres, which is significantly less than China (35.5 litres), Germany (105.6 litres, and the US (75.6 litre).
The Madrid-based brewer with its operations spread over 60 countries produces more than 75% of the exported Spanish beer and sells 1.2 billion euros worth beer globally. On their prospect in India, the Mahou India CEO added, "Right now, we are at a launch-and-learn stage. Down the line, we'll cross the bridge but the large part of that is of staying."
In India, Mahou started off by forming a 50:50 joint venture with Rajasthan-based Arian Breweries in 2012. Later in 2015, the Spanish firm acquired the remaining stake to rename it as Mahou India.
India is the third largest beer market in Asia, following China and Vietnam. The market is dominated by UB group (over 50% market share) and SABMiller (over 25%) and Carlsberg (under 10%). As per Erik's projection, India's beer business, which has grown at 13% CAGR over the last five years, would become the fastest-growing one in the world after China in four years' time.
"We have worked on a formula to satisfy Indian palate which usually requires a beer which is less bitter. Not only the quality but also the secret ingredient that would give our beer its personality," he added. The Spanish brewer is using its trademark Mahou yeast made in Spain to prepare its product in India.
On its plan to set up more breweries across India or possible expansion, he added, "We will judge that by the initial success of our plan. This year, we hope to double our volume and market share. And we want to sustain that for the next few years."

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