New Delhi: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer on Monday said it has entered the non-alcoholic beer market in India with the launch of an alcohol-free variant of its popular beer brand Budweiser with Budweiser 0.0.
Priced at ₹80 for a 330 ml can and ₹90 for a 330 ml bottle Budweiser 0.0 will be available in modern trade and departmental stores in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Gujarat where sale of alcoholic drinks is prohibited.
The move is in line with AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals where the company has set a target of achieving 20% of its global sales (by volume) through low- to non-alcoholic drinks by 2025. As of 2018, 8% of the company’s global beer volumes came from low- and non-alcoholic beverages.
“Budweiser is one of the fastest growing brands in the country and we are thrilled to add Budweiser 0.0 to our existing portfolio of brands here in India," Ben Verhaert, President, South Asia, AB InBev, said in a media statement on Monday. While the market for non-alcohol beers is still nascent in India, he added that as a leading brewer the company sees a great opportunity to grow the segment.
Mint had earlier reported that the brewer plans to launch at least two new non-alcoholic beer beverages for the Indian market. These include its flagship brand Budweiser, and the more premium brew Hoegaarden.
However, the market for such drinks in India is still small. Brewers are hoping to offer more choices to consumers across grocery shelves with these launches, as well as induct non-alcoholic consumers in to the fold.
AB InBev’s plan to add these beers to its India portfolio comes months after the country’s largest beer maker United Breweries Ltd (UBL) launched its first non-alcoholic beverage Kingfisher Radler. UBL is also expected to roll out Heineken 0.0—a non-alcoholic beer sold across the world—to its portfolio in India.
AB InBev, which sells brands such as Budweiser, Corona, Knockout, and Beck’s Ice, is India’s second largest beer company, after UBL. After a global $100 billion merger between SABMiller and AB InBev in 2016, the company’s local arm in India offers a wide portfolio of mass, premium, and imported beers.