Its a positive sign for the industry.Beer sales in India grew in double digits in the 1st quarter compared to the last year figure but were still nearly half the sales in the pre-Covid-19 pandemic corresponding period of 2019, as most bars and restaurants reopened with restricted timings and operated at a lower capacity.
“Our volumes more than doubled versus prior year first quarter, reflecting the different nature of the second wave related trade restrictions and healthy underlying company performance. However, our June 2021 volumes were about half that of our volumes in June 2019,” Berend Odink,CFO-UB group.
On-trade channels typically account for a quarter of all liquor sold in the country but the contribution fell to 11% last year after bars and restaurants were shut for many months due to Covid-19 and subsequently allowed to operate at a lower capacity. For beer, on-trade contributed 40% to the segment in 2019, but the share fell to just 18% last year. “In India, our volumes and revenue grew by double digits in the first half and second quarter but remained below 2019 levels,” Budweiser Brewing APAC chief executive Jan Craps said in an investor call.