Beer prices head south, spread festive cheer in Kolkata – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Prices of beers across all segments will come down next week, following a new notification issued by West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) on Wednesday. As per the new price structure, price of light beer will come down by 25%-40% while for strong beer the drop will be 15-20%, making the beverage one of the cheapest in the country.
The move is being viewed as an attempt to boost the demand for beer. Due to Covid and lockdown, the beer industry has been hit hard. “The peak season for beer that accounts for 70% of sales is March to July 31. We shall have to see how the move benefits us now,” a top executive of a beer company said. President of Hotels and Restaurants Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) Sudesh Poddar welcomed the move. He said, “The new beer rates will be very helpful for bars and restaurants. With reduced prices, it will become affordable for patrons to drink their favourite beers in bars and this would also boost food sales.”
Bevco had asked Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer companies to submit tenders in the first week of September for registration of ex-distillery price (EDP) and ex-brewery (EBP) price along with registration of logo and brand. Annually, 14.1 million (1.4 crore) cases of hard IMFL that includes whisky, rum, vodka and 8 million (80 lakh cases) of beer are sold in West Bengal.
IMFL and beer industries in the state were facing a major crisis, following the Covid-induced lockdown and steep increase in sales tax on liquor in April this year. For the beer market, there was an average degrowth of over 85% while for IMFL, the average fall in sales was around 30% from April-July. The figure of IMFL compiled by Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has shown that in April the fall in sales was 84% followed by 37% in May and 27% in June. The trend continued in July and August as well.
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