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Aim to grow 4 times in FY20: Coolberg founder and CEO Pankaj Aswani

The company largely has presence in tier-I and tier-II cities and aims to cover more cities across India along with deeper market penetrations and then eventually explore international markets as well.

January 14, 2019 / 04:36 PM IST
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Coolberg, a non-alcoholic beer is expecting growth of three to four times in FY20, according to founder & chief executive, Pankaj Aswani.

In a freewheeling chat with Moneycontrol, Aswani said the company currently sells 20,000 cases per month, with each case containing 24 bottles. 

He aims to take the number of cases sold to 60,000-80,000 in FY20.

Coolberg was launched in 2016 and now is available in more than 30 cities and is served in 2,000 retail touch points, which primarily include restaurants and cafes.

While the beer market in India is about Rs 56,000 crore, not much is not known about the size of the non-alcoholic sister. But competition is increasing with India's largest beer maker, United Breweries, also planning to enter the niche segment.  

Coolberg raised seed fund last year in August from India Quotient and India Angel Network to increase the market penetration and brand awareness.

Aswani further said the company largely has presence in tier- I and tier-II cities and aims to cover more cities across India for deeper market penetration and then eventually explore international markets as well.

Excerpts from the interview: 

Q. What is Coolberg non-alcoholic beer and how is it brewed? 

Coolberg is India's first non-alcoholic beer. Coolberg products are brewed following the unique recipe and process and are completely free from alcohol. Making beer taste good without alcohol is challenging. Fermenting yeast naturally produces alcohol, which helps give beer its flavour. The main techniques to make non-alcoholic beer are to prevent yeast from producing alcohol or to remove alcohol at the end.

Q) Why should consumers opt for Coolberg?

Coolberg is disrupting all traditional choices of non-alcoholic beverages and provides completely new choices for consumers which includes Malt Beer which taste like beer but without alcohol and other crafted variants such as cranberry, peach, ginger, strawberry and mint. Coolberg’s Malt Beer is significantly low on calories than any other regular soft drink beverage and is a healthier option for consumers.

 Q) Who is your target customer and what is your current reach?

Coolberg is a brand for millennials. It is crafted to provide perfect taste, texture and aroma along with young and playful packaging. Products are now available in more than 30 major cities and are currently being served in 2000 retail touchpoints which primarily includes Restaurants and Café’. Products are priced at Rs 109/- MRP and sit comfortably in the premium segment.

Q) How do you see Coolberg playing in the already crowded beverage segment and what are the sales numbers?

Coolberg has its own space in the market and takes care of consumer who are not looking for alcoholic options. It also offers non-drinkers a new experience when they are socialising with friends and looking for a more grown-up alternative to the soft drink and juice options available in the market. Coolberg is not a replacement for a regular beer instead it is a complementary product and can be consumed on any occasion. Currently, we sell 20,000 cases per month and expecting 3 to 4 times growth in the coming year. 

Q) How are Indian consumers adapting to new brands in the F&B space?

We believe Indian consumers are now open to new products more than ever. They are constantly looking for products which offer quality, convenience or overall experience.

Q) What are your expansion plans and are you planning to tap international markets?

We are aiming to cover more cities across India for deeper market penetrations and then eventually we will explore international markets as well. Europe and the Middle East are already a good market for Zero Alcohol Beers. Globally, the non-alcoholic beer market was estimated at over $5 billion in 2018 and growing rapidly.

Q) Scaling a FMCG brand needs a lot of marketing. What are your plans? 

Fortunately, these days there are a lot of new marketing channels on online space which are less expensive as compared to conventional methods and offer effective reach to the right target audience. We are seeing our Coolberg community growing, which also helps in word of mouth publicity.

Himadri Buch
Himadri Buch
first published: Jan 14, 2019 04:36 pm