Expanding its product range in the country, beer maker Molson Coors Cobra India today launched British iconic brand 'Carling' in the Indian market.
The Mumbai-based company, a joint venture between US-based Molson Coors Brewing Company and the Cobra Indian Beer, at present, markets two locally brewed beer brands, King Cobra and Iceberg 9000.
"We started operations in Indian market two years ago. We have a brewery in Bihar, from where we produce King Kobra and Iceberg 9000 brands. Now, we are launching Carling brand in India," Molson Coors International (MCI) President and Chief Executive Officer Kandy Anand told PTI.
The firm wants to be a major player in the premium beer segment in the country, he added.
The company will import mild Carling beer in 300 ml pack initially and later in the year follow it up with the launch of locally produced strong beer in 650 ml pack.
"As of now, we are importing the mild lager from Burton-on-Trent, in England. As we go down the year, we plan to launch a strong beer from the Bihar brewery," Anand said. The brewery near Patna was set up two years ago at an investment of USD 50 million, he added.
"While the mild beer would primarily cater to customers in major metros, the strong beer would cater to customer demand in Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Goa, Bengal and Delhi," Anand said.
When asked about the potential of Indian market, Anand said: "As one of the largest beer markets in Asia, India presents an excellent opportunity for us to expand our global footprint."
India is one of the largest beer markets in the Asia- Pacific region by volume with a market size of 275 million cases per annum. Premium beer segment, which grew by 49 per cent in 2012-13, accounts for 10 per cent of the total market size.
"Molson Coors Cobra aims to tap this enormous potential with the Carling brand, together with its other brands, King Cobra and Iceberg 9000," Anand said.
Denver-headquartered Molson Coors Brewing Company, which is the seventh largest brewer in the world by volume, sells various brands including Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Blue Moon.