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INDIA: SABMiller toasts early success for Indus Pride

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Indus Pride, SABMiller's new beer in India, is performing ahead of expectations as it looks to challenge the dominance of United Breweries' Kingfisher brand, the group has said.

Indus Pride, a 100% malt beer launched in Rajasthan in October, has taken a 15% share of the state's mainstream beer sector, SABMiller India said.

"The early trends have been outstanding. It is growing much faster than we expected," said Apurv Nagpal, SABMiller India marketing director. 

SAB, which controls 38.5% of India's young beer market, hopes Indus can provide a serious challenge to Kingfisher, which is owned by its main rival, Vijay Mallya's United Breweries. 

A creeping market shift to mild beer, a category defined by beers with an abv of below 5%, has seen Kingfisher overtake SABMiller's Haywards 5000 as India's top beer brand in recent years.

SABMiller India CEO Jean-Marc Delpon de Vaux said last week that he expects group sales to rise by 15-20% in value terms for the full-year, compared to volume growth of 14%. Tax and regulations continue to hamper profit margins and provide a barrier to growth, he added, however.

Together, SABMiller and United Breweries account for around 80% of the Indian beer market.

Indus Pride retails at between US$1.00 and $1.50 per 650ml bottle.


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