United Breweries and Anheuser-Busch InBev to battle over non-alcoholic drinks in Gujarat

In Gujarat, the making, selling and drinking of alcohol is banned since 1960.
  • Franchise India Team Editor
Restaurant India

Heineken-controlled United Breweries and Anheuser-Busch InBev, India's two largest beer makers, will soon be in a battle over non-alcoholic drinks in the dry state of Gujarat. In Gujarat, the making, selling and drinking of alcohol is banned since 1960.

The two brewers will soon enter Gujarat with non-alcoholic beer. UB will foray into the dry state with non-alcoholic beer Kingfisher Radler this week, while AB InBev is expected to join the race in a couple of months.

Ramesh Visvanathan, Chief New Business Officer at UB, said, "Gujarat is an opportunity market for this product as it’s a state with no access to alcoholic drinks." 

UB's Kingfisher Radler is made of fresh barley malts and natural lemon juice.

"The western state is one of the largest non-alcoholic beer markets in the country, served mostly by drinks sold by traders and importers. The current products in the market are imported, expensive, sparsely distributed and not supported. Above all, they have a beer taste which people don’t want," Visvanathan added.

Ben Verhaert, President – India at AB InBev, said, "We see non-alcoholic beer as an opportunity for the beer category to offer choice in India, which is the second largest consumer base in the world where the level of abstinence is high for various reasons. Our intent is to shape the category by making it a more inclusive place for consumers with diverse choices and preferences."