Bira91, the much-loved beer brand that has gone viral amongst consumers in India announced the launch of two new beers – Bira 91 Light and Bira 91 Strong.
This is the first time since its introduction in early 2015 that Bira 91 has added beers to its portfolio.
Bira 91 Light is one of the first low calorie beers to be introduced in the Indian market. At about 90 calories for a 330 ml bottle, Bira 91 Light is one of the lowest calorie beers, and has a little over half the calories of standard lagers. The beer finally gives health and fitness conscious consumers a choice on the beer list – dispelling the myth that drinking beer would cause a beer belly. At 90 calories, the company’s Founder, Ankur Jain, says, “Bira 91 Light is the lowest calorie option for any alcoholic beverage in the bar. It is lower than a glass of champagne, much lower than Breezers, wine, or cocktails. Heck, its even lower than a glass of milk or orange juice!” The beer is positioned as a “lunchtime lager” – quick refreshment that you can have with a light meal any time of the day. What makes Bira 91 Light unique is the taste. A super light body, clean appearance and crisp taste, the beer is filled with exotic hops from Europe giving it a pleasant, natural finish making it eminently sessionable. Jain said, “Most things that are healthy have a reputation of tasting awful. As a brand our main promise to consumers is taste, and we wanted to make a beer that was not just healthy but also delicious!”
The Indian beer market is dominated by strong beers – over 85% of beers consumed in India are high alcohol. In that context, the launch of a Light beer, which is low calorie, is unusual. Explaining the rationale, Jain said, “Our estimates are that India has about 200 mn consumers of alcohol and only about 100 mn consumers of beer. Bira 91 Light will hopefully give non-beer drinkers another reason to consider beers when they are looking for a refreshment.”
Bira 91 Light will be available in 330 ml bottles and on tap through Bira 91’s draft network, which is now the country’s largest. Bira 91 Light is priced at INR 100 for 330 ml bottle (Ex Delhi). The launch will be in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Bangalore this quarter and will be expanded to other cities later in the year.
The second launch this week is of Bira 91 Strong. Described by the company as a “High Intensity Wheat beer” this is the first strong beer based on wheat. This beer is a top fermented ale giving the beer a unique and rich taste that is low on bitterness, high on honey and caramel notes. At about 7% alcohol by volume, the beer is designed to usher a revolution of taste to the mass market and aims to disrupt the mainstream beer market. Speaking of the launch, Ankur Jain said, “This is a big beer. High on flavor, high on taste, high in alcohol content. We want the mainstream consumer to consider and discover taste when they make a choice at the retail shelf. With the introduction of Bira 91 Strong, the difference to the consumer will be obvious and we expect that the consumer will quickly up-trade to Bira 91 Strong from whatever they have been drinking thus far!”
Priced aggressively, Bira 91 Strong is priced at only a 20% premium over the largest selling strong beers in the market – with the bet that Bira 91 can be the gateway to great tasting beers to every Indian consumer.
Bira 91 Strong will be available in 500 ml cans and 650 ml bottles. The launch will be across 15 cities in this quarter – covering every active market for Bira 91.