New Delhi, Aug.2 : It was an evening of fun, frolic and business at the Tabularasa Lounge in Saket's One Square Mall on Friday night.
Ravi Jaipuria, the head of the RKJ Group, formally announced the launched of four Belgian beer brands in partnership with InBev, the world's largest beer producer by volume.
Speaking on the occasion in front of a host of dignitaries, including senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, and the who's who's of the beverage and advertisement world, besides the media, Jaipuria said it was a momentous occasion for him to formally launch popular and internationally famous beers like Stella Artois, Beck's, Hoegaarten and Leffe in India.
He said that Friday's announcement was a long time coming, and he was sure that discerning beer lovers would take to these four brands like duck to water, and expressed confidence about them making a significant dent in the alcoholic beverages market.
The four beers will be marketed by InBev India, which has its office in Gurgaon. InBev would take an initial 49 percent stake in the venture with the option to increase its participation at a later date, the company said in a statement.
InBev's aim was to gain access to the strong distribution network developed by the RKJ Group.
Stella Artois is a premium Belgian lager, while Hoegaarten is an original Belgian white beer laced with coriander and orange peel and an alcohol content of 4.8 percent volume. Beck's is the world's most famous German beer, while the famous Leffe beer is a dry, fruity, lightly spiced beer, full and creamy - a perfect balance of strength and subtlety.
Leffe beer is sold in over 60 countries worldwide and has established itself as a leader for its distinct taste, texture feel and a unique brewing heritage. Prices range from Rs.100 to 140 for a 330 ml bottle.
Beer sales in India are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.2 percent to 2011. So, with the Indian beer industry seeing steady growth during the last decade, due to strong economic growth resulting in high disposable incomes, an increase in beer sales in the next two or three years is expected.
In addition to the increase in sales, the number of brands is expected to increase in the near future, with existing players like United Breweries and SABMiller expanding their ranges, and new players like Anheuser-Busch, Carlsberg and InBev setting up production facilities. United Breweries Ltd. is the market leader in the Indian beer market with a 40 percent market share
This new report indicates how the market has developed, which markets/regions are strongest, the leading brands and sales by segment and region.
The event was alsoattended by Belgium's envoy to India Jean M. Debountte. He told ANI on the sidelines of the function that Belgium would totally back India's bid for participation in international nuclear commerce. When asked whether Belgium would support India at the meetings of the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), he replied in the affirmative.