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‘New design will help ‘Witlinger’ to assert its legacy better’INTERVIEW

Three years after introducing the British style craft beer, Witlinger, in Indian market, Kaama Breweries, its promoters, went for a new design with a brand Mascot, the British Bull Dog, recently. Anuj Kushwah, Managing Director and Founder, Kaama Breweries in an interaction with P Krishna Kumar, shares the rationale behind the new design exercise of Witlinger.

Thursday, January 25, 2018, 16:51 Hrs  [IST]

About the new design
The new design and mascot actually present our true personality as an honest craft beer brand from U.K. (British bulldog). We realised that Witlinger’s packaging was very European and had a usual beer kind of packaging. It was apt for the European market but as for Indian market to have that kind of fan following, we needed to redesign ourselves to show what exactly we are. We did a market survey and gathered from our consumer that they like Witlinger, however, they are not able to understand what its actual personality is. Now, with our new mascot - the British Bull Dog, it is easy for our consumers to connect where we are from and that we have a British, vibrant, fun craft beer brand with lots of attitude and personality. Witlinger’s new ‘British Bulldog’ mascot characterises brand’s true identity and conveys a strong message of being Bold - with lot of attitude, honesty and fun. Additionally, our beer quality is far better than what other brewers are brewing in India.

The Craft Beer market
When we started in 2014, it was an early stage for craft beer scene and very few brands were offering authentic craft beer. However, as the market evolved, there were many small breweries launched in metro cities which increased the demand for craft beer. This market response and demands actually helped us to penetrate the market easily. Indian craft beer scene is growing significantly as people are talking about it and have accepted it. The demand for premium craft beer is increasing as more and more people are switching to craft beer for its unique taste and healthy ingredients.

The current market share for Craft beer in India is less than 1%, however, it is rapidly growing at the rate of 30% every year. The shift is due to consumer acceptance and willingness to try new products and taste new beers.

Witlinger - Driving the Craft Beer market
Witlinger has been consistently producing high-quality craft beer and has built a strong brand recall. We were the first brand to start initiatives like #NowRolling to enhance consumer knowledge about craft beer. It was about experiencing the craft beer in true sense and push experiences and products which consumers feel connected to. We organised many event-based and outlet-based activities in Delhi, Goa and Mumbai to start a conversation around craft beer in cafes and party spots.

In terms of products, Witlinger’s Wheat Ale started India’s first and unique category of wheat beer. It has distinctive sweet orange and coriander flavours that make it refreshing and easy-to-drink beer at any time of the day. The beer created a niche category among people who were looking for strong and bold brand with distinctive flavours and honest taste.

Meeting targeted growth
We have managed to achieve our set targets in 2017 and aiming 50 cr. business in coming financial year. Currently, Witlinger is available in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. With new financial year, we are planning to penetrate markets like Gurgaon (Gurugram), Chandigarh, Puducherry, Pune, Kolkata and other Tier-I cities.

Growing Competition
Beer lovers are ready to experience craft beer so competition is anyway good for market when consumers are willing to welcome it. Witlinger has garnered its own fan following due to its unique style and taste. Beer has slowly created a niche as ‘Any Time’ drink. So, while new brands are coming to Indian market, consumers know their taste and have their preferences to choose what they want to drink rather than what is available at the bar. It’s good to see other players entering the market, which clearly shows market is evolving and has potential for new taste.

Future plans
We are planning to broaden our portfolio with more variants in same category. Our team is working on the recipe and soon will be launched complexly flavourful and authentic taste.

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