India. Budweiser to target smaller towns

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The Indian joint venture of the world’s largest beer company Anheuser-Busch InBev, plans to push the iconic American beer brand Budweiser into smaller towns in its bid to grow in the Indian market that is dominated by strong brews.
Sales of the mild beer that’s positioned in the premium category are also expected to increase in the northern parts of the country, including Delhi, when a new contract brewery in Pune commences operations by the second quarter of the next fiscal.
“We are in our fourth season this year and there are plenty of tier-one cities where there is a reasonable foundation. This gives us the luxury to take some of our expansion steps in a more balanced way,” said an official of InBev India International. “We have done a good job of expanding to a lot of tier-two and in some cases tier-three cities where surprisingly cost sensitivity was not an issue.”
According to industry observers, Budweiser sold around 1.7 million cases in 2010. The company plans to tap the smaller towns of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, among the largest beer markets in India.“Overall, we are looking at a fairly aggressive growth chart this year,” the official said.
India’s beer market is estimated at some 200 million cases, of which more than three-fourth is the strong variety containing more than 5% alcohol, dominated by the Vijay Mallya-led United Breweries by market share, followed by SABMiller India.
Indian operations of Anheuser Busch and InBev had been integrated by early 2010, following the merger of the two global giants in 2008. Budweiser is currently manufactured at the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery in Hyderabad and the marketing is handled by InBev India International, a joint venture between InBev and the RK Jaipuria which bottles Pepsi in India.