budweiser: AB InBev enters energy drink segment in India, aims 10% market share in 2 years

budweiser: AB InBev enters energy drink segment in India, aims 10% market share in 2 years

Belgian drink and brewing company Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) has entered into the non-alcoholic energy drink market in India by widening its Budweiser portfolio. The company, as per its strategy, will now also focus on the fast-growing energy drink market by extending its brand Budweiser into the segment and aims to corner a 10 per cent market share in the next two years, said a company official.

Anheuser Busch InBev will compete with Austrian brand Red Bull, which has a dominance into the segment, with its newly launched ‘Budweiser Beats’.

“We have set an ambition of getting 10 per cent (of the market share) in next 24 months,” AB InBev President – India & South East Asia Kartikeya Sharma told PTI.

The company would invest “quite reasonably” into brand building and marketing for Budweiser Beats.

“Our expectation is to enter into the category, improve the penetration of the category to 8-9 per cent of the larger beverage segment. By virtue of driving greater penetration of this category, we aim to get a double-digit share within next two years,” he said.

The company is adopting a two-pronged approach by bringing its brand Budweiser into the segment, having a good consumer connect with premium offerings and leveraging its strength on the fast-growing e-commerce platform complemented with offline distribution at mom & pop stores and modern trade outlets etc, as it has done earlier for its non-alcoholic beer Budweiser Zero.

The company would have a multi-channel approach, with a greater focus on e-commerce, he said.

“The brand equity of Budweiser is going to play a big role giving the consumer a reason to come and try the product,” Sharma added.

The company is looking at markets where Budweiser is in a “strong position” such as in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and UP in the north, while Goa and Maharashtra in the west and Karnataka, Puducherry and Telangana in south and Meghalaya, Assam and West Bengal in east.

“We would leverage the power of Budweiser… in these states,” he added.

The energy drink market is growing with a CAGR of close to 20 per cent for the last 5 years, including the two years of Covid impact, and is estimated to be close to USD 250 million (around Rs 1,872 crore)

“This is almost three to four-times of the category growth in many other developed markets as the US, Brazil and China. The category is ripe for growth,” Sharma said.

Budweiser Beats would be manufactured in India through its franchise partners.

In the other parts of the globe, AB InBev has energy drinks in its portfolio globally such as Mawe in Brazil, Ghost in the US and Fusion in China and Brazil. However, it has first time launched an energy drink under its Budweiser brand through Beats.

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