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UBL, AB-InBev, Carlsberg jointly form Brewers’ Association of India

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The three brewers — UBL, Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) — which owns brands such as Budweiser, Hoegaarden, and Corona, along with Carlsberg

New Delhi: The Country’s leading beer manufacturers United Breweries — now controlled by Dutch brewing major Heineken, AB-InBev, and Carlsberg — on Wednesday announced jointly forming a new industry body Brewers’ Association of India (BAI).

The three brewers — UBL, Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) — which owns brands such as Budweiser, Hoegaarden, and Corona, along with Carlsberg, which operates here with Carlsberg and Tuborg brands, together account for about 85 per cent of the beer sales in India.

UBL leads the Indian beer market with Kingfisher, Kalyani black, Heineken, and Amstel Bier. BAI, which is formed in partnership with the World Brewing Alliance (WBA), will be focused on growing the beer category in India and driving innovation, moderation, and sustainability in the Indian beer market, as per a statement.

WBA is the global industry body of brewers and brewing trade associations from leading markets, including Australia, Canada, the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Brazil, and New Zealand.

BAI will be headquartered in Delhi and headed by Vinod Giri, who will assume office on June 1, 2024.

Giri until now was heading the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), the apex body of the Indian alcoholic beverage industry.

“Brewers can play an important role in strengthening local economies, contributing to thriving communities and achieving better public health outcomes,” WBA President and CEO Justin Kissinger said.

“The time is right for brewers to raise their voices on these issues. The Brewers of India will be a vital part of promoting moderate drinking, promoting our industry,” Kissinger said.

According to the statement, the new association will be open to other brewers, Indian and international, who share the belief in growing the Indian beer industry responsibly.

AB InBev India President Kartikeya Sharma said, “There are many barriers to the growth of India’s beer category, including inequitable taxation, accessibility, and the ease of doing business. We will continue to advocate to unlock a new era for the beer category.”

Carlsberg India MD Nilesh Patel said, “The beer industry is an important sector for the states as it provides significant direct and indirect employment and generates significant revenues for the state to invest for its citizens.

“Through the Brewers’ Association of India, the industry expects to bring best global practices and further strengthen the sector.”

UBL MD & CEO Vivek Gupta said, “Together, the industry can help shape policies promoting responsible choices for consumers around moderate alcohol beverages, a robust taxation and regulatory framework and promoting investments for socio-economic benefits. We look forward to collaborating with governments and other stakeholders.”

The three companies have significantly invested in India. While Carlsberg operates seven breweries, UBL has 19 and AB-InBev India has 10 across the country.

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