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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Boom predicted in Indian beer market
SAB beer bottles
SAB is to launch its African lead brand, Castle Lager, in India.
One of the world's largest breweries plans to invest $100m (70m) in the Indian beer market in the next five years.

South African Breweries (SAB), the world's fifth largest brewer, aims to increase its share of the Indian market from 4% to 25%.

SAB says it expects the Indian market, currently selling 72 million cases of beer a year, to treble in size in the next 10 years.

A shift in drinking preferences from spirits to beer, and also some relaxation in terms of government restrictions will bring about the increase in consumption, a company spokesman told the BBC's World Business Report.

Per capita beer consumption is currently low in India at about half a litre.

SAB predicts this will rise to about 18 litres per capita over the next five or six years.


There is a shift in drinking preferences from spirits to beer and also some relaxation in terms of government restrictions and so on

SAB spokesman, Nick Chaloner

SAB has already bought Narang Breweries and Mysore Breweries.

The company controls 98% of its domestic market and is strong in Sub-Saharan Africa, China, Central Eastern Europe and Russia.

"Those markets are growing in the region of 5-6% per annum unlike the mature first world markets such as the UK which are actually in decline," SAB spokesman Mr Chaloner told the BBC's World Business Report.

Attracting consumers

SAB is also producing brands to appeal specifically to Indian consumers.

The company has already launched Three Lions beer, brewed in the state of Uttar Pradesh and developed following research amongst Indian beer consumers.

SAB also plans to launch its African lead brand, Castle Lager, in India.

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 ON THIS STORY
Nick Chaloner, South African Breweries
"What we see in India is a turn from traditional spirits drinking into beer drinking"
See also:

31 May 01 | Business
SAB eyes Bass Brewers
22 Feb 00 | South Asia
Indian wine takes on the world
24 Sep 01 | UK
Beer sales 'at 30-year low'
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