Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) India has reported 30 per cent growth in sales in the first half of 2023 with gains in some markets and expects the momentum to continue in the second half, its India President Kartikeya Sharma said. Said.
The company, which is a leading player in the premium and super premium beer segment with brands such as Budweiser, Hoagarden and Corona, registered a growth of 200-300 basis points in key markets such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and West. He said, Bengal.
“The beer industry grew by 20 per cent from January to June 2023… We grew almost 50 per cent ahead of the industry. So our growth was close to 30 per cent,” Sharma said at a media roundtable here.
While there are some challenges in the urban market, with urban centers witnessing some slack in demand, Sharma is confident of sustaining the growth rate.
The challenge for us is how do we maintain and grow the share gains in H2, Sharma said, but in H1, we were very satisfied with the numbers.
In its top 10 focus markets, AB InBev sees the gap between them and the market leader shrinking by two to three percentage points.
That said, in many of our focus markets, we actually see differentiation close to the market leader and in some cases, we’ve become the market leader.
On consumption trends, there was an expansion in the peak in the premium segment post Covid, but the trend has moderated in the last two months in urban centres, where the peak is fading away.
“The growth rate in the post-peak period hasn’t come down quite as dramatically because of the peak period. And after that, premiums in these urban centers actually see almost peak levels of growth and so our position in premium has given us a share.” has allowed us to make profit in H2,” said Sharma.
The Indian beer market is led by United Breweries Limited (UBL), which is controlled by Dutch brewing giant Heineken.
AB InBev’s super premium brands Corona and Hoegaarden are contributing high single digits to total sales here, Sharma said. “Along with Budweiser, Corona and Hoegaarden contribute 58 percent of the total volume,” he said, “and the rest 42 percent comes from entry-level beers such as Haywards, Royal Challenge, Knockout and Indus Pride.” Mainstream entry-level beers account for 35 percent of the value.
AB InBev also entered the whiskey market in India last year with brands like Budweiser Magnum Double Barrel and D’yavol Inception.
On whiskey sales, Sharma said: “It is difficult to put a number on it as it is very early days. We are in three to four markets and have 2,000 to 3,000 sales points in terms of distribution.”
In 2023, it also launched three variants of gin and Seven River Spiced Rum, expanding its Hoagarden brand in the segment.
AB InBev entered India in 2008 through a joint venture with Budweiser. Now after 15 years, India is the fourth largest market for Budweiser globally.
India is the only country where beer, whiskey and energy drinks are available under AB InBev’s Budweiser portfolio.
On inflation, Sharma said that there has been no impact as it has not affected people, but preferred to reduce its margin to deal with the situation and sustain growth.
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