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Cobra Beer

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Cobra Beer

Cobra Beer
Beer company
Industry Brewing
Founded 1989
Founder Karan Bilimoria
Headquarters Burton On Trent, Staffordshire, UK
Area served
UK
India
Europe
Middle East
East Asia
Key people
Mark Hunter, Global CEO of Molson Coors
Karan Bilimoria, Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership
Products Cobra Premium Beer
Cobra Zero
King Cobra
Unknown
Website www.cobrabeer.com

Cobra Beer is an Indian beer brand manufactured in the United Kingdom and China.

The group's primary product is an extra-smooth premium beer with an alcohol strength of 4.8% volume. The beer was founded in 1989 by Karan Bilimoria,[1] and Arjun Reddy - who thought that Britain needed a smoother, less gassy lager, which would appeal to both ale drinkers and lager drinkers alike.[1] A blend of water, malted barley, yeast, rice, maize wheat and four varieties of hops is used to produce the required characteristics.[1]

In June 2011 Molson Coors bought a controlling interest in Cobra.[2]

As of 2014, Cobra Beer is primarily produced in Burton-upon-Trent,[3] Rodenbach in Belgium and in Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.[4]

History

Lord Bilimoria - Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership

Cobra Beer was founded in 1989 by Karan Bilimoria,[1] then aged 27 and £20,000 in debt.[1] A Cambridge law graduate and qualified Chartered Accountant, Bilimoria launched Cobra Beer when it became clear to him that Britain needed a smoother, less gassy lager that appealed to both ale drinkers and lager drinkers alike, and that complemented all types of cuisines. Bilimoria claims that "the (British) lager was too fizzy, too harsh and too bloating. It meant that I couldn't eat or drink as much as I would like. At the same time, I found real ale to be great in a pub, but too bitter and heavy with food. So I came up with the idea of creating a beer with the refreshment of a lager, but with the smoothness of an ale." [5]

Although originally intended to be named 'Panther' - the name was changed to 'Cobra' when a focus group found the latter to be more appealing. The first shipment of Cobra was imported in the UK from the Bangalore-based Mysore Brewery in 1990, at the start of the early 1990s recession.[1] - however, large consumer demand and increased import costs prompted Bilimoria to move production to the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s.[6]

From 1996, Cobra Beer was brewed under contract by Charles Wells Ltd.[7] and experienced strong growth in sales for the next ten years.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Cobra experienced strong - double-digit growth. In 2005, the company's premium Trappist beer-style pilsner, King Cobra, was launched.[8] Brewed at Belgium's Rodenbach brewery, it is currently the only Pilsner-style lager to be fermented in the bottle.[9]

The company's alcohol-free beer, Cobra Zero, was also launched in 2005. The beer was well received at launch, being ranked by the Daily Mirror newspaper as 'head and shoulders above the rest.'[10]

However, Business losses accelerated in 2007 with total losses for the trading year to August 2007 reaching £13.6m on an annual turnover of around £45m. The business is approximately £26 million in debt and has borrowings from venture capitalists attracting interest at daily compound rate of 15%.[11] Despite this, Cobra continued to accelerate its sales growth in recent years. Most recently, Cobra's half year sales figures for the period from 1 August 2008 - 31 January 2009 showed growth in volume terms of 21%.[12]

It is this strategy of growing sales, instead of concentrating on the "bottom line" which may have caused the company's financial problems. On Friday 29 May 2009 the company went into administration, owing an estimated £75 million to suppliers. On the same day, the business was rescued through the formation of the Cobra Beer Partnership Limited, a joint-venture between Molson Coors and Karan Bilimoria, with Molson Coors owning 50.1% of the shares and Bilimoria appointed as Chairman.[13]

In June 2011 it was reported that Molson Coors had also purchased a 51% stake in Cobra India, renamed as Molson Coors Cobra India. The remaining 49% of the venture is controlled by Bilimoria.[2]

As of 2014, Cobra Beer has continued to experience increased sales - albeit at a slower place that it experienced during the 1990s. Since the formation of the joint venture with Molson Coors, growth has averaged between 7% and 10% in terms of year-on-year expansion and in 2013 had turn-over of £59.1 million and profit before tax of £7.7 million.[14]

As of November 2014, Cobra currently has a market share of over 98% of all licensed Indian restaurants within the United Kingdom.[14]

Cobra is also widely distributed in multiple supermarkets, as well as in independent off-licences - as well an increasing number of pubs and bars. It has also been exported to over forty countries around the world.

In February 2014, Cobra launched a new advertising campaign with the Farringdon-based agency, Karmarama. Entitled, 'Meet the Boss' - the advertisement was well received in a number of areas, including being dubbed 'Ad of the Week' by the communications agency, Stratton Craig.[15] In the first three three months of the campaign, Cobra saw 23% growth in volume sales in the off-trade - and a 77% volume growth in bars over a similar period.[16]

Products

The Cobra Beer range currently consists of three beers.

Cobra Premium (4.8%), an extra-smooth premium beer and is currently sold in 330ml and 660ml bottles. A draft version (4.3%) is also available.

Cobra Zero (0.0%), a non-alcoholic version of Cobra Premium, sold since 2005.

King Cobra (7.5%), a double fermented Pilsner-style lager.

Between them - Cobra Beers have won a collective total of 78 Gold Medals at the international Monde Selection awards, making them amongst the most awarded beers in the world.[16]

Cobra Foundation

The Cobra foundation is an independent charity that was founded in 2005 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Cobra Beer. Registered in the United Kingdom, the charity's mission is to provide health, education and community support for young people in South Asia, especially through the provision of safe water. The charity's primary objectives also include giving help with Disaster Relief in the Region.

As well as funding sanitation and school building projects - the company has brought two Indian doctors to the UK for three month attachments at leading training hospitals.[17]

In 2014, the Foundation launched a joint-branded bottled water with the London-based ethical water company, Belu.

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ interview with Karan Bilimoria on BBC News website 6 August 2014 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28439834
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Source: Annual Report and Accounts posted with Companies House in May 2008
  12. ^ source: ACNielsen 2009
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^

Further reading

External links

  • Karan Bilimoria speaks about setting up Cobra Beer
  • Cobra Beer: Official Website
  • Lord Bilimoria: Personal Website
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