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Budweiser Maker AB InBev Plans to Enter Whiskey and Gin Segment in India


Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer of Budweiser and Corona beers, is gearing up to launch new whiskey and gin brands in the Indian market. Global brewers so far have steered clear distinction between spirit segments, making the move by AB InBev the first case of any big beer maker entering the segments of whiskey and gin. The move is part of AB InBev’s larger plan to enter premium segments beyond beer, reported ET.

Speaking on the development, AB InBev’s India and South East Asia President Kartikeya Sharma said, “For Indian consumers, the attitude towards premiumisation is category agnostic and the openness to become repertoire users and not be married to one category has never been higher.” He added that the company saw the consumers were looking to “indulge” and not abuse alcohol. Hence, they decided to come up with new propositions ready to drink, whiskey and gin, which are ready to be launched soon.

AB InBev is already piloting Mike’s seltzer and will launch blended scotch and premium gin towards the end of 2021.

According to the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, scotch and gin are among the fastest-growing categories in the Indian market. While the scotch category has been dominated by international players like Diageo and Pernod Ricard dominate the Scotch segment, the premium gin market has witnessed the rise of local players.

Kartikeya Sharma added that being an established player in the beer segment, the company was already aware of the route to market channels, the classification of those channels and partners that will help to launch the product the “right way”

He said that a large part of the development cycle was invested in the production side as the distilling space was new for the company.

AB InBev, however, emphasised that the company beer category will remain their core focus. India is the fifth largest market for the Budweiser brand in terms of the volume for the parent company globally. The company generated nearly 33 per cent of the sales from the sales of premium brands in the Indian market two years ago.

India is among the largest beer markets globally and is set to grow further with the addition of nearly 20 million people in the legal age for drinking every year.

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