Home / Companies / News /  Beer manufacturer AB inBev launches made in India beer Seven Rivers
Listen to this article

NEW DELHI: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company behind beers like Budweiser, Corona Extra, and Hoegaarden, has launched a new brand of beer Seven Rivers for the Indian market.

The new product is being rolled out in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra first, and  will find its way to states like Delhi, Goa, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh within the current fiscal. 

The company said its products are made with locally sourced ingredients with flavours curated to suit the Indian palate. The brand will only retail in India for now.

In 2020, the beer manufacturer had launched a brew pub '7Rivers' in partnership with IHCL-owned Taj Hotels at its Taj MG Road hotel. The two companies co-run the outlet, AB InBev providing freshly brewed beer and IHCL managing the hospitality side of the business. 

Vineet Sharma, vice president, marketing, South Asia, for the firm said, consumers with a taste for strong lagers have influenced the beer market a lot. However, the last few years has seen a gradual shift toward less bitter, flavourful, and smooth beverages. The shift is primarily being driven by the growing popularity of microbreweries and consumers who are more open to experimenting and prefer a repertoire of offerings, paving the way for the Indian wheat beer market to carve out a niche for itself.

"We believe that we can shape the wheat beer segment in the country. We already have a great offering with Hoegaarden which plays at a premium price point in the wheat beer category. This is an affordable beer and we'll want to expand it across India. We are building the brands from two different worlds, one is coming from a Belgian heritage whereas the other is built on the modern Indian story. And that's why it won't cannibalise on the other market," he added.

Sharma, without revealing investment details for the category, said the wheat beer industry has grown at a CAGR of 35% over the last five years with the industry size growing 5 times, standing at 130 KHL or 13 million litres.

Seven Rivers is priced at Rs130 for a 500ml can in Karnataka and 165 for a 500ml can in Maharashtra and is available in 'Strong Wheat Beer', a Hefeweizen (a type of German “white beer") and Mild Wheat Beer, a Witbier (Dutch to “white beer").

Vikram Achanta, founder and CEO of Tulleeho, a drinks training and consulting firm, said the company's strong wheat variant marks a forward integration from its brewpub business into packaged retail. Once they launch brewpubs in Mumbai, he said, they could potentially retail larger sized growlers as well. These are large glass bottles used to sell fresh draft beers straight out of breweries.

“The company has taken the second most popular style of beer in India (wheat) and fused it with a high 'alcohol by volume' category. High ABV beers have the lion's share of the market in India. Of course, they will have to fight it out with their competitors that already exist but it shows that large companies are willing to take risks and innovate and try to build local brands instead of just relying on their international ones," Achanta added.

According to BlueWeave Consulting, the India beer market was estimated at $4.34 billion in 2020. The market is expected to hit $9.36 billion by 2027 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.0% during 2021-2027.

After whisky, it said, beer is India's second most popular alcoholic beverage. The growth of India beer market can be attributed to the burgeoning demand for diverse beer brands in India, together with the country's growing workforce.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Recommended For You
Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout