India Continues to Prefer Strong Beer

No one should be surprised on the recent report published by TOI, 85% of Indian beer drinkers like it ‘strong’.  India was always in love with strong beer and reports continued to suggest Indian prefer strong beer. Strong beer, with alcohol content of 5-8 per cent, accounted for 83 per cent of all beer sold in 2012-13 and is now 85%.

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During 2013-14 almost all major brewers had launched strong beer in India and rightly, Indians loved to get buzzed. Samar Singh Shekhawat, senior vice president of marketing at United Breweries said;

“The reason for alcohol consumption in India is basically to get buzzed,” Shekhawat said. “For us and for anyone, the focus has to be the strong category because this, unlike mild beer, sells right down the economic strata.”

In the recent annual report published by Carlsberg group, Carlsberg brand grew by 12% in its premium markets in Asia, primarily as a consequence of good results in India, driven by Carlsberg Elephant, premium strong beer.

Some more exciting facts emerged from the report published by All India Brewers Association. Beer sales account for only 50% of liquor sales in India—much lower than in China where it is 87%, Brazil (84%), US (83%) and UK (75%). Even within beer the preference is for stronger ones. Wine accounts for only 1% of liquor sales.

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Image: Babu/Reuters Kingfisher Strong continues to be the market leader

In India the highest beer consumption is in Andhra Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, according to the brewers’ association, Kerala’s per capita consumption is highest in the country though it is far less in overall consumption compared to other states.

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