Personal care brand Vi-John is entering the liquor segment by forging a joint venture with Spanish firm Mahou San Miguel.

The joint venture company, Arian Breweries and Distilleries, will manufacture and sell premium and mass market beer in the domestic market. Arian was earlier a subsidiary of Vi-John, a shaving cream manufacturer.

To be launched in Northern India in the first phase, the premium strong beer brand Mahou will be retailed at Rs 130 for 330 ml while Dare Devil will be priced Rs 90 for 650 ml.

Strong beers, lager with alcohol content between 6 and 8 per cent, comprise up to 80 per cent of the beer market.

Alberto Rodriguez-Toquero, Managing Director, Mahou San Miguel said, “We were scouting for a partner to make inroads into India. The Indian beer market is at its early stages of development. At present, the per capita consumption of beer is about 1.5 litres. We see this growing tremendously.”

While Mahou will be imported, Dare Devil will be manufactured at Arian’s brewery in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. The brewery has a capacity of 2.5 lakh hectolitres a year.

Harpreet Sachdeva, Director, Arain Breweries and Distilleries, said the company was hoping to capture two per cent market share this fiscal and at least 10 per cent in Northern India.

The beer market in India is dominated by players such as Kingfisher and SabMiller, among others.

Bindu.menon@thehindu.co.in

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