E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: India: SABMiller revamps Fosterís beer to claw back ground lost to competitors

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E-Malt.com News article: India: SABMiller revamps Fosterís beer to claw back ground lost to competitors
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SABMiller, the world's second largest beer manufacturer by volume, has revamped its flagship international brand Foster's in India in a bid to claw back ground lost to European rivals Carlsberg Group and Anheuser-Busch InBev, The Times of India reported on August 13.

Post a massive, six-month long consumer research, the biggest of its kind done in India by SABMiller, the company re-launched Foster's recently, with the aim of putting its third biggest beer brand by revenue in India back on a high-growth trajectory. The two regional brands it acquired, Haywards and Knock Out, are its top two performers by revenue and volume, respectively.

"India is one of the most important markets for Foster's in terms of case volume after the US and UK. We relooked at literally everything in the brand. The taste of the brew has now been designed to be more refreshing and suited for the Indian palate," said Darioush Afzali, director, marketing, SABMiller India.

The company also rebranded the two-year-old Strong variant to Foster's Gold, in a bid to appeal to a larger consumer base. Nearly 80% of the beer market comprises of strong brew which has an alcohol content between 5% and 8%.

Data from International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR) showed that Foster's reported a 1.3% CAGR in sales in the five year period 2009 to 2013, in India. In the same period, Tuborg reported a 13.6% growth and Budweiser a 16.4% growth, as per IWSR.

Knock Out is the only brand in SABMiller's portfolio to clock a 26% five-year CAGR, despite operating only in a few markets.

"Because of what happened to the competitive setup, we said that it was the right time to inject some novelty into the Foster's brand," said Afzali. He said the company had made a 'significant investment' towards the re-launch.

SABMiller, which has been in the Indian market for over a decade, has seen its market share fall to 24% from the high 30s, while Carlsberg in five years is closing in on a 10% market share. Led by Tuborg Strong, Carlsberg now claims second spot in markets like Haryana, Goa, Delhi, West Bengal and Chandigarh. United Breweries, in which Heineken has a significant majority stake, is the market leader with a 50% share.

13 August, 2014

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