Millennial  Influencers Craft, Beer Movements  in India

Millennial Influencers Craft, Beer Movements in India

Pradeep Verma

Strategic Marketing Consultant & Advisor, Brewer World

The producers, brewers, the consumers and the team of selectors – Judges and those being judged, media houses and social media platforms are all from their community. Those below the age of 35 years, comprise 55% of the Indian population and alcohol consumers a whopping 225 million will decide market trends for the future. What makes Generation-Y or the millennial generation different from the earlier generations?

Millennials all speak the same language, be it Joseph from Mexico City or Davinder from Delhi City, Svetlana from Moscow. These digital natives have a lot more in common nowadays. They both have a page on one or more social networks. They don’t hesitate at all when it comes to sharing their lives, and opinions, through pictures, tweets and status updates, mundane or otherwise. They each have enough friends to fill the Munich City. They are committed to postponing certain rites of passage into adulthood, and thus the title the Peter Pan generation. They chat, text, travel in packs, eat, work, drink, buy, sell, party, and they do it all on the move.

Community of a global village/flat world, they expect nomadic connectivity. Make them feel special and they’ll let you into their world. Mess up and they’ll show you the door, and they’ll change the locks on you too. For millennials abundance is a birthright, and the marketer’s job just got a lot tougher. All about instant gratification, power, speed of delivery, excitement and success.

Their political involvement to their attitude towards equal rights, not to mention their very demographic make-up, millennials stand at the brink of a more global society, a more borderless world. Look at the movement by these groups of Global communities in Egypt, France, and Greece. Or for that matter not much in positive sense but the core group of this generation involved in revolutionary activities with more fundamentalist approach??

Born in the age of information technology and diet of fast internet, 24/7×365 days connectivity, social media or otherwise, and a vast pool of technological tools and resources at their fingertips the consumer has never looked better. Millennials are a tough lot to keep happy??

The Craft Beer movement in India is at a threshold to take off in a big way!! Just four years old – the real movement and media presence – what we observe is that the Beer culture is a battle between Rock Stars & Tradition?

They don’t have beards – generally – neither show a Tattoo on the arms or chest, nor are found at Rock concerts; which is evident by their fellow members from American soil. European brewer community is more into art of brewing with conventional styles compared to their counter parts from the otherworld more experimental and better marketing skills of beers & themselves.

Indian Craft beer movement is taking the American route, by promoting the IPAs, Ales and exotic beer mixes. Seems like the order of the day!! As in America we are going the route of a very powerful cultural phenomenon that is evident from who takes over the bar and who claims that the party is theirs? And in real time Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram are splashed with anecdotes and pictures!

On the contrary, if we have to look at sheer statistics of the Indian beer industry as of today, the market size of 36 million HL or about 450 million cases of 12 bottles of 650ml; the largest component of beer that sells is classic Lager of European style; almost 98% market share. In this, the Lager strong beer has more than 80% market share. It is this nature of consumer choice – including the millennials – that big Daddy’s like Carlsberg, Heineken, IN-Bev had to consider launching Strong Beer variants after trying for substantial period of time to “convert” the consumer’s preference to their type of beers.

When one observes the selling pattern of beer variants in the most dominant Craft Beer-microbrewery/restaurant out lets to my knowledge around 75-80% sales is that of Lager & Wheat beers. The extension is that of Strong Lagers & Strong Wheat. The new entrants of beer variants that has media coverage and hype is very much an American influence of Ales, IPAs & innovative beer styles, that keep changing.

European brewers have been harping about tradition, heritage, authenticity and art of brewing going back hundreds of years but on the contrary what is more dominant at the Indian market scenarios is Rock Star approach – media, publicity, so called beer judges & social media.

I think this is a good sign indeed. At least the Craft beer movement is taking shape much faster than their American counterparts! What we should be looking at is an “Independent Experienced Brewers Community” who are recognized Beer Tasters and have the reputation of “Judging” the right brew.

Until then lot of mistaken identities and beer produced by mistake or lack of experience, poor quality of plant & machinery, lack of or no knowledge CIP(clean in place) is producing beers that have labels/names which are nowhere near to the true recipe of beer variants!! Clean Glasses or control of microbial infections is very much an area of serious concern??

At the end of the day, I find this intense involvement, focus, and commitment of the Younger generation very exciting indeed. No wonder, we expect the Craft Beer market to be of nearly Rs.4500 crores industry with approximately 1000 microbreweries/craft breweries on the Indian soil by 2020. By then we will have a new mid-size segment of craft breweries selling beers in kegs, cans & bottles.

So, let’s party the American and/or European way!!!!

How does it matter, as long as the consumer’s choice is taken care of!!!!

Thank you very much on behalf of Brewer World Team, for your support, encouragement and response in our very first year of presence.

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