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• Cobra Beer is a British Beer Company founded in 1989 by Karan Bilimoria. The company is based in Fulham, southwest London.
Bilimoria found out that Indian Cuisine was gaining popularity in UK but the beer served with it was gassy and left people bloated. It didn’t leave enough room for food.
So Bilimoria decided to launch a premium beer which would complement the food rather than fight against it.
The result was Cobra, a premium beer using best quality natural ingredients, a unique blend of barley malt and yeast with maize, hops and rice.
Cobra beer is extra smooth and less gassy, retaining the premium strength of 5%(Alcohol Content).
Originally brewed in Bangalore, India (now Bengaluru), for export to the United Kingdom, the company now has contract brewing operations in the UK (Charles Wells), Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and India.
The market in UK is highly competitive with a lot of existing brands but Cobra entered the niche with a USP that it is the best accompaniment to spicy Indian food.
Soon it gained a one million mark in sales within five years.
Bilimoria then found out that shipping beer from Bangalore was consuming 50% of their time and management. So in 1997 it decided to brew the beer in Britain and thus, Charles Wells, an independent brewery was asked to do it under a license.
It is now available at more than 6000 Indian restaurants, 6000 pubs and bars and at supermarkets and also at internet.
Then, it commenced brewing with Browar Belgia Poland to distribute Cobra to the European and worldwide market.
Cobra beer is currently exported to 35 countries.
To serve the interests of those who like to have wine with food, Bilimoria launched two wines in 1999 and expanded in 2001 with three more wines. In 2004 it launched Krait, an export brand in U.S., positioned as a super premium lager and thus overcame its India-orientation and entered mainstream.
Along with its advertising partner Satchi & Satchi, it won 4 awards and later several industry awards for its new bottle. So far it has recorded a 42% compounded annual growth rate.
Cobra beer has also given away £100,000 worth of beer at various charitable events which in turn served as a good marketing opportunity.
• Cobra 5% Premium A blend of barley malt and yeast with maize, hops and rice with 5% abv. It comes in three sizes; 660 ml and 330 ml bottles, as well as 500ml cans. When it was started out in 1989, this was the only beer by Cobra. Still specially brewed to be smoother and less gassy than regular lagers. Still brewed to their original Indian recipe with only the finest natural ingredients. A less gassy legend, this is the beer that started it all.
Cobra Light Cobra Light is double-filtered, with fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than regular Cobra. A 330ml bottle of Cobra Lower Cal contains less than 100 calories, zero fat and 1.27g of carbohydrates – around half the amount in most regular lagers. Cobra Lower Cal is 4.3% abv. Cobra Light is brewed to have all the smoothness and flavour of a regular Cobra, but with less than half the carbs and calories. With an ABV of 4.1%, Cobra Light is a deliciously crisp, refreshing lager, and is a favourite with waistline-watchers.
Cobra Zero % Cobra Zero % is an alcohol-free beer, with 6.5 grams of carbohydrates per 330ml bottle. It is full-flavoured and well-rounded with a hint of sweetness. It is known as ‘the Cobra for when you can’t have a Cobra’. Cobra Zero% is the Cobra for when you can't have a Cobra. It's brewed to have all the rich flavour and smoothness of a regular Cobra, but with less alcohol than a glass of orange juice.
King Cobra The world’s first double fermented lager with 8% abv, King Cobra is presented in a champagne-style bottle and available in 750 ml and 375 ml sizes. There's an American lager that lays claim to the "King of Beers" title. But it isn't bottle-conditioned and double-fermented, brewed to a super premium 8.0 percent strength, or served in an elegant champagne-style bottle. No, that's King Cobra. So good, we couldn't call it anything else.
Cobra Bite Cobra Bite is a range of four fruit-flavored lagers launched in May 2007. Cobra Bite is an exotic range of naturally flavored premium beers. The range includes Lemongrass, Blood Orange, Sweet Lime and Fresh Ginger flavors, each with is own zesty and distinctive characteristics. Cobra Bite products are available in 250 ml bottles at 4.3% above strength.
Current Scenario of Beer Industry in India
• Indian Beer Industry is valued at 4500-5000 crores at retail level in business of 80-85 million cases.
Indian Beer Industry is growing at a steady rate of 7-9%.
The per capita consumption of beer in India is slightly over 1 litre, compared with about 23 litres in China, 50 litre in South Africa, 100 litre in UK and 165 litre in Czeck Republic.
Potentially, India is one the largest Beer Market because :The Indian beer market has been growing rapidly over the last 10 years, due to the positive impact of demographic trends and expected changes, like:
• • • •
Rising Income Levels Changing Age Profile Changing Lifestyle Reduction in Beer Prices
In India the future of beer industry is very much optimistic because:
India has predominantly a warm/hot climate
The beer-drinkers in the country are much younger than the average beerdrinker elsewhere in the world. This makes them more likely to carry the brand with them for a lifetime.
Increasing exposure to beer and wine drinking, mainly due to media and consumer mobility.
Apart from Kingfisher and Foster's Beer, the other brands in the Indian market are:• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Carling Black Label Carlsberg Thunderbolt Dansberg Golden Eagle Guru Maharaja Premium Lager Haake Beck, Haywards 2000 Beer Haywards 5000 Haywards skol Taj Mahal Heinekin KnockOut • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Hi-Five Flying Horse Royal Lager Kingfisher Diet Kingfisher Strong Kirin Legend, London Diet London Draft London Pilsner Royal Challenge San Miguel Lager Sand Piper Strohs Zingaro.
Market Leader – UB Group
• • • Cobra faced the market dominance of Kingfisher. Kingfisher Lager beer is the single largest brand in India. Kingfisher have “Kingfisher Strong” which is the fastest growing beer brand in its category. • It has number of brands with regional strength :– UB Export is popular in Karnataka. – Kalyani Black Label is popular in Eastern Region, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. – London Pilsner is popular in Mumbai. • UB Group have 47.6% of market share in Indian Beer Industry.
Market Strategy of UB Group
Kingfisher have positioned itself as “Life Style Beer”. Some of its Marketing Strategies were :• Sponsored the West Indies Cricket team in 1996 Cricket World Cup as Caribbean are always known to have free spirit which reflects in there game. • They also own “Bangalore Royal Challengers” and Co-Sponsored “Deccan Chargers” and “Rajasthan Royals” in IPL. • • They are associated with Formula F1 and have “Force F1” team in Formula racing. They are also associated with East Bengal Football Club which is a top team in country. • • They have also instituted Fashion Awards with “Kingfisher Fashion Show”. Advertised in a way that communicate youthful, fun and free spirited image of Kingfisher. As they cannot advertise alcohol so they built there brand through there
Cobra in India
• “To aspire and achieve against all odds” is the vision of Cobra given by Lord Karan Bilimoria.
It has a current turnover of £55 mn.
It has the headquarters in UK, India, South Africa and USA.
Cobra is also ranked in “1999 Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100”, the list of fastest growing private companies around the globe.
Strategy in India
• • • Launching its beer in one city at a time Brewing in India. Cobra has four licensing agreements with Mount Shivalik Group of Rajasthan, Impala Breweries in Goa, Manav Breweries in Uttar Pradesh and Iceberg in Bihar.
It is also setting up four new plants in the country, one in each region, with an investment of $15 million (Rs 60 crore) per plant.
Strategy in India (Contd.)
• To market it in New Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Pune , Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata etc. Position itself as super premium brand Launching a zero alcohol beer. To arrange Cobra beer on board Air India and Virgin Airways flights to Delhi. To announce a campaign which will involve Five Replica AC Cobra Sports Cars, which will tour the country and attract crowd to the pubs. It has also signed new deals to provide beer in bottles, cans and drought. • • • •
• • • • Advertisements should be youth-oriented. It can look for sponsoring fashion events to promote itself. It can support domestic sporting events if not international ones. Try to position itself as an entertainment drink because people in India rarely take it with lunch or dinner. Distribution channels should be more. Can use the Surrogate Marketing to advertise there Brands.
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