Himalayan organic coriander lends its flavour to Spanish beer

It is the perfect fusion of Spanish and Indian ethos because the tangy hints of Sevillian orange peel and the herbal spicy notes of Himalayan organic coriander makes it refreshing, delectable and easy to drink. Its principal character is a fruity aroma and a slight hint of hops along with a refreshing feeling and a touch of sweetness that creates a well-balanced sensation in the palate.

"The secret ingredient of the beer and its signature recipe is the yeast, which imparts a characteristic taste that makes it stand apart from other regular beers," Fernando Bustamante, CEO of the Indian subsidiary of 129-year-old Spanish brewing major Mahou Group, told IANS of the just-launched Mahou Maestra Wheat premium beer, through which the company is also promoting the 'cañas' and 'tapas' concepts in India.

"In Spain, beer is enjoyed in small glasses called cañas always accompanied by small bites of food called tapas. We cater to the premium segment and want to create a unique beer consuming experience for enthusiasts in India," Bustamante, who joined the company in Spain in 1991 and has served in various capacities, explained.

"Spain and India have many similarities in their cultures. One such similarity is the Spanish culture of tapas or snacks that are paired with beer which is very similar to the snacking habit in India. We are introducing not only the taste of Mahou in India but also promoting this Spanish lifestyle of food and beer in a social context.

"Talking about Spanish culture, we cannot miss football which is also an important part of our marketing campaign. The strong affinity that we, Indians are developing for football today, is a commonality between the two nations. Mahou is committed to promote this sport, promoting football activities in India and being official sponsor of Atlético de Madrid," Bustamante elaborated.

To this extent the company's India entry is a key strategic pillar for the growth of its business. "It is the only market outside of Spain where we had established our fully owned subsidiary. Our brewery in Rajasthan is one of the eleven we operate, 8 of which are in Spain and 2 in the USA.

"We have a long-term commitment to India and our strategy is to launch, learn and scale. We are learning at each step of doing business. We want to serve Indian consumers with as many offerings as possible for different occasions serving different needs including alcoholic, non-alcoholic and other types," Bustamante said.

Worldwide, there seems to be a shift away from hard liquor to beer and wine. Is this an emerging trend in India?

"Studying beer consumption trends here in India, I would say the market is a very interesting one. Over the years, beer consumption patterns in India have changed as have consumers' tastes and preferences. Beer is slowly becoming the default social drink, is gender neutral and is consumed on occasions where people want to spend quality time together. This evolution is a great opportunity for Mahou India specifically and for all international players in general," Bustamante said.

"The per capita consumption of beer in India is currently among the lowest in the world and stands at approximately 2 liters per year although in terms of volumes the market is already more than half the size of the beer market in Spain, where consumption stands at 48.3 liters per capita. With a young and growing population of young adults who are increasingly more adoptive of premium brands in their focus towards a quality lifestyle, expectations for growth of the Indian beer market is particularly positive," he said.
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