Blog: Chris Brook-CarterDrinks groups eye jewel in the crown

Chris Brook-Carter | 20 October 2005

The volume of news originating from India this week is testament to the growing importance this huge market holds for the international drinks industry. In the last seven days, we have had over GBP110m in acquisitions in the tea industry, talk of InBev’s plans to be the latest global brewer to wade into this vast arena, and murmurs of yet more changes at India’s dominant drinks player UB Group.
 
The obvious attraction of the Indian market is its size and growth. The beer market alone looks set to break 100m cases this year and, unlike China, is still under-represented by the world’s global beer powers.

Talk has surfaced of InBev’s plans to negotiate an equal joint venture with one of India’s biggest soft drink bottlers, Ravi Jaipuria. The combine will look at a host of brewery acquisitions and greenfield projects, the reports said.
 
In a beer market largely dominated by UB Group and SABMiller, such a deal, should it come off (and sources suggest it could be sealed by December), could spark an unprecedented level of activity and competition in the market.
 
The dominance of India on the news pages this week is also a happy coincidence for us here at just-drinks (although we would love to claim it was just good planning) as it gives us a chance to blow our own trumpet a little. Not only have we secured the services of a new Indian correspondent this week – Bhavna Rathore – but talk of the acquisitions of Tata Tea and Typhoo come in the  same week as we launch our inaugural Hot Drinks report.

For more on the Hot Drinks report, click here


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