The Indian Beer industry pegged at Rs. 6000 crores is rapidly growing with sales of over 100 million cases a year. With almost 55% of the population in the age group of 21 to 59 years, the potential for growth is huge. Higher income level, changing lifestyle and consumption patterns are all expected to drive this growth.
Last year the growth rate in the sector was a record 14% where a slugfest is on between the domestic players like UB Ltd., SABMiller India, Mohan Meakins Ltd., Mount Sivalik Breweries Ltd., and Yuksom Breweries Ltd and global rivals like Heineken, Budweiser, Cobra and APB eyeing this growing market.
Traditionally the South and West have been the traditional markets for beer (TN, AP, Karnataka and Maharashtra have sold about 68 million cases of the 100 million case beer last year) mainly because of high density of urban population in these states, high per capita income and absence of winter which makes it a year long market without seasonality.
Recently some of the Northern states switched from the auction to the licensing system bringing down the price of beer by at least Rs. 20 in several of these states. Consequently the expected volume of sales for 2006-07 in Punjab, UP, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Delhi is pegged at 27 million cases, an eye popping 32% growth from the 20.5 million cases, the previous year.