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3-2019

Russia: Positions of Brewing Companies

The review contains an analysis of interim performance of brewers in the first half of 2019. There are rather dynamic changes behind a modest industry growth. Baltika is again experiencing a stage of volumes and market share slid due to competition with AB InBev Efes. Because of the price competition and presence expansion in the modern trade company #2. has come close to the leading position. At the same time sales of Heineken Russia have continued growing which makes the premium part of the portfolio heavier. The market premiumization trend had been also confirmed by import brands. MBC and Zavod Trekhsosenskiy have been the most successful among federal market players. The market share of independent regional brewers and Ochakovo have continued falling as they are being squeezed out by the market leaders at their competitive fields.

Ukrainian beer market 2019: companies and brands

In 2019 beer production and market have been still fluctuating about zero point. However, the past season was successful for brewers judging by the sales profitability. The price mix has improved due to rapid general market premiumization, as well as its particular aspect, the growth of import beer sales. By the season end AB InBev Efes improved its positions considerably. It turned out that consumers had not forgot Efes brands that had to leave the market, but started to recover rapidly. Against the stagnating market that meant sales decline of other companies, in the first place Carlsberg Group that most of all beneficiated from Efes exiting the market. PPB turned out to be stable to branding activity of its competitor and Obolon kept the same volumes and at the moment it is the absolute leader of the economy segment. The share growth of independent producers took place thanks to leading craft breweries, that so far do not have a big market weight, but they are rapidly gaining it.

Brewing industry in Kazakhstan 2019

During the first half of 2019, the majority of Kazakh brewers made their contribution into positive dynamics. Yet it was companies of the lower division, not the two transnational leaders that raised their production and sales. The shares of draft beer and aluminum can which is rapidly squeezing glass bottle out of the market, have been growing. The price segmentation has remained stable despite the substantial rise of retail prices and fluctuations of brand market shares, while the borders between segments have become blurred. The main events in the industry have been: the announced revision of the beer excise policy, launch of BeerKhan brand in the strong beer segment, and most important – purchasing assets of Shymkentbeer by Arasan.

Finally, an Indian beer to savour

On why the author has happily switched from 571-year-old Hoegaarden to toddler upstart Bira 91.

The husband and I recently began dating again. Once a week, Babyjaan is packed off to the in-laws, where she indulges in otherwise banned activities such as eating dinner on the bed while watching Chhota Bheem on television.

So there I was, on a Friday evening, riding behind the husband on the Bullet I had cajoled him to buy some years ago (because how can anyone buy any other Indian bike), headed to the neighbourhood store to pick up my other favourite Indian brand, which also begins with a B.

The reason I head out every time I want to buy Indian craft beer Bira 91 is because I can’t stay away from it when I stock it at home.

After becoming addicted to Bira 91 Blonde (hoppy Czech-style pilsner) and Bira 91 White (Belgian-style wheat but more citrusy), I’ve happily switched from 571-year-old Hoegaarden to this toddler upstart. I can’t wait for their pale ale to be launched in October.

While one has always been immensely comforted by and stayed faithful to the global greats (Hoegaarden, Asahi, Guinness, Schneider Weisse, Stella Artois, etc.), the American beer revolution in the past decade has driven me to a string of one-night stands, some of which have developed into longer dalliances. And I can’t get enough. A visit to the US is characterized by daily infidelity; meaningful relationships have been forged with the brews from Dogfish Head and ales with endearing names such as Arrogant Bastard. Thanks to a friend, I drank Gandhi-Bot before non-resident Indians forced the brewery to change the name to G-Bot and replace the brilliant robotic depiction of Mahatma Gandhi on its can.

India’s beer scene, especially in Bengaluru, has always been characterized by the Kingfisher mafia (sorry, we only serve Kingfisher ma’am). Peroni is marketed as a “designer” brew here—surely even the Italians know it’s no fun? Thankfully, Bengaluru also has brewpubs such as Toit and Arbor Brewing Company where the taps overflow with all hues from pale to pumpkin. Seriously, Toit brews a special ale every Halloween that is infused with roasted pumpkins, spices and jaggery. The creepy ambience is courtesy Dracula, a bhatakti atma (wandering soul) dressed in a white sari and assorted other monsters. Personally, I prefer the zero fuss Toit Weiss, available through the year. At Arbor, it’s usually the Belgian Tripel or Phat Abbot before we rush across the road to watch the latest B-movie, which is instantly rendered several degrees more enjoyable. My first love was Dansberg, named after its equally loveable owner Danny Denzongpa, drunk alongside coffee liqueur in Sikkim while on a college holiday.

Now, Bira is the Indian beer I bring home, satisfaction guaranteed.

Bira 91’s two beers were launched about a year ago by Cerana Beverages (now B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd), a company that previously imported craft beers from around the world. Even hard-nosed venture capital firm Sequoia Capital invested Rs.40 crore in B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd in January. The beverage company used a chunk of this money to set up a brewery in Indore, and by June, Bira will be not just “Imagined in India”, as their tag line now says, but also made here. Until now, Bira was manufactured in Belgium and imported home, so some folks refer to it as a Belgian beer trying to be Indian. The company’s response: iPhones are made in China, but does that make them Chinese?

Nobody can dispute Bira’s success. One year after its launch, the beer has started selling 50,000 cases a month. It’s become the largest selling premium beer (competitors include Kingfisher Ultra, Peroni, Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken) in bars and restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai, where it’s available in draught and bottle. Incidentally, Bira’s highest sales are logged at Tamasha Bar, located right next to the Mint and Hindustan Times office in Delhi #justsaying.

Its blue/red bottle caps featuring the Bira monkey are slowly acquiring cult status on Instagram, where the images include a banana and chocolate chip Bira bottle cap birthday cake for Mona and a woman wearing a Bira crown choker (or maybe that’s Mona in person?). Bira’s growth has come without a traditional marketing campaign.

Now the company has an ambitious plan to replicate this word-of-mouth success in New York, where it is an official sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival this year and where it will be available from next month. Who knows whether or not consumers will pick Bira from the hundred or so beers available at the Whole Foods supermarket, but Bira founder and chief executive officer, B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, Ankur Jain, is determined that it won’t be the “Cobra of craft”—or the Indian beer that everybody drinks mostly with their tandoori chicken.

Thirty-five-year-old Jain grew up in Delhi with an urban planner father and an interior designer mother. He studied computer science in the US and his past life includes a stint at Motorola developing applications for mobile phones and a healthcare management start-up. His father couldn’t understand why his son gave up that life, returned to India and began to import beer in 2008. He’s since come around.

Jain says his weight has risen from 72kg to 85kg courtesy all the beer tasting he does. “My friends sometimes joke that the 91 in the name refers to my weight,” he says. It represents the country code, actually. Jain’s an even-tempered jovial chap, the kind of guy who keeps friends for life. He went to school with his chief operating officer.

As for Babyjaan, she won’t know the joys of Bira for many years to come, but she’s a huge fan of Royal Enfield and can recognize the sound of a Bullet a mile away. She knows how to operate the keys, has her own helmet and avoids dismounting on the silencer side; her life’s ambition is to grow tall enough to kick-start the bike.

Thankfully, they say, it’s difficult to do a wheelie on a Bullet.

8 Апр. 2016

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