South Asia radius

India sees 1000% beer growth in six years

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Beer Brewery India

Having seen substantial growth since 2011, India’s beer market is expected to reach volumes of nearly 470bn litres by the end of this year—a near thousand-fold increase since 2011.

That is according to analyst Research and Markets, which uses the 468m litres sold in six years ago as its base. Now the country has 85 large breweries and a heavily centralised market, with just four large global players controlling 86% of the market.

With Heineken, Budweiser, SABMiller and Carlsberg enjoying brewing hegemony, India now ranks among the top five markets in Asia-Pacific in terms of volume.

Fledgling micro-breweries, meanwhile, are also gaining ground with sales worth INR2.25bn (US$35m) in 2011 expected to have reached INR500bn (US$7.8bn) by 2018, based on 20% year-on-year growth. 

Craft beer fortunes have been boosted in this regard by increasing numbers of international visitors and a wealth niche market of Indians, allowing microbrewery manufacturers to charge a premium for their products.

Beer is the third most popular drink after water and tea, and consumption has been growing at an average annual rate of 2.4% since 2011. It is expected that global sales will reach approximately US$636bn by 2020, an increase of US$7bn in five years.

This rise has been relatively slow due to stagnant growth in beer consumption by the world's five largest beer markets of China, America, Russia, Germany and Brazil. 

In terms of brand value, established American favourite Budweiser leads the market followed by Bud Light. While mass-produced regular beers have seen marginal growth, sales of light and low-alcohol beers has been booming. 

Around the world, attitudes towards alcohol have been changing, the research found, boosted by rising health-consciousness and a growing desire to drink responsibly.

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