Mumbai: Global beer maker, SABMiller, is planning to roll out Peroni Nastro Azzuro, one of its premium global beer brand, in India.
SABMiller, says it has a number of global brands in the pipeline for the Indian market and Peroni would be among he first ones to be introduced in the Mumbai market first.
The company''s strategy is to position the brand in the premium bracket and it has indicated that its price may be almost double the price of existing beer brands in the market. Peroni is positioned as a premium beer worldwide as well. However the actual pricing for the Indian market for the brands to be introduced are yet to be finalized say sources in the company.
Initially Peroni would be imported into the country and later it may manufactured locally if the brand proves successful.
According to company sources, the launch of Peroni in Mumbai would be a test launch and the company plans to see how the brand performs in the Mumbai market before taking it to other parts of the country.
SABMiller India, the subsidiary of London-based $15 billion SABMiller Plc manufactures and sells five of its 120 brands in India - Royal Challenge, Haywards 5000, Knock Out, Castle lager and Haywards Black - and after the recent $120-million acquisition of Australian brewer Foster''s Indian operation, it has added Foster''s lager and Amberro mild and strong to its brand portfolio.
Recently Vinod Giri, director marketing, SABMiller India had said, "We plan to bring a number of our established international beer brands into India. The exact decision on which brands would be suited for the Indian market will be taken only after a detailed pricing and consumer preference study is completed," he said.
After Peroni has been launched, the other SABMiller brands that may be introduced in India, are Miller Genuine Draft, and Pilsner Urquell.
The company is looking at stimulating growth in the premium segment, which is currently growing rapidly. Interestingly United Breweries, SABmiller''s biggest rival in India which has over a 50-per cent share of the liquor market, has also announced introduction of a ''luxury'' beer called Kingfisher Ultra, pitted against SABMiller''s Foster''s lager.
The Rs 3,000-crore beer market is now likely to witness fierce competition with UB and SABmiller. Also, the St Louis-brewer Anheuser-Busch (A-B), maker of Budweiser, has also set its eye on the Indian beer market.
Last year in Europe SABMiller began focusing on its Peroni premium lager and initiated a £4- million branding campaign that emphasized the brand''s retro image and Italian heritage. The campaign that runs for 18 months includes visual and print ads paying homage to the ''60s Italian classic La Dolce Vita. The brand makeover also involved the creation of a ''boutique'' in London''s Sloane Street with a single bottle of Peroni on a pedestal in its window display.