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United Breweries ready to kick off its Octoberfest in Bangalore

Company expects 10% more volume sale than last year

Antonita Madonna  |  Bangalore 

United Breweries Ltd is all set to kick off the ninth edition of its The Great Indian Octoberfest (TGIOF) celebration in Bangalore today. The company has centered its efforts around attracting a larger number of families this year.

We have something for everyone - beer, food stalls, a flea market, craft center, among others. Having more families, especially women, attending will define the success of the event and that is really the attempt, says Samar S Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President (Marketing) at UBL. Its a place for the whole family to go and spend the day. Besides, its the families that are more established and open to spending more money.

The title sponsor and main organiser of the event is the company's Kingfisher Premium brand of beer but the three-day event has the entire range of Kingfisher beer selling at a 10% premium. The company expects to sell about 15% more volumes than it sold in the event last year and has even increased its spend by about 10% on upscaling the event, an Indian version of the famous Oktoberfest (spelt with a 'k') held in Germany's Munich every year.

UB Ltd, the beer-making company of the UB Group, that holds about 50% of the Indian beer market, is dealing with a slowdown in growth in the category. Reports also say the company is losing some of its market share as the landscape becomes more competitive than oligopolistic with international players like Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev growing its share in the Indian market, albeit small. Marketing and promotional activities become even more important at this point and Bangalore-based UBL has to ensure judicious marketing spend in the slowdown the market is seeing.

UBL has priced the tickets of the event between the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 15,000 even as the price may serve as a deterrent to people attending the event.

Its a far richer, premium and up-market experience. Fewer people may come in but its the right audience - the kind the brand values, Sheikhawat says.

UBL has also done several promotional activities, mostly digital, for the event and hopes people will come in from different parts of the country to attend TGIOF. Interestingly, the date of the festival sponsored by Kingfisher Premium coincides with that of music festival NH7 Weekender; in Pune that has Bacardi as its title sponsor.

TGIOF also has a line-up of 25 artists and bands from various musical genres, including American rock band Hoobastank as the headlining band and Bollywood singers Mika Singh and Arijit Singh.

Last year (2012) was the reincarnation of the event - a smaller, tighter, far more premium and up-market experience. We increased ticket prices, improved the merchandise, quality of food, had unobtrusive security, international bands, arts and hobby centre and a vintage car display, among others. This time also it will be similar, Sheikhawat says.

First Published: Fri, October 18 2013. 12:36 IST