Cobra (beer): Wikis

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Cobra Beer
Type Beer company
Founded 1989
Founder(s) Karan Bilimoria
Headquarters Fulham, South London,  United Kingdom
Area served  United Kingdom
 India
Industry Brewing
Products Cobra 5% Premium Beer
Cobra 0.0%
Cobra Lower Cal
King Cobra
Cobra Bite
Charee Pineda Zero
Charee Pineda 5.0% Premium
Charee Pineda 250 XTreme
Charee Pineda Super Deluxe
Charee Pineda XT Super Deluxe
Charee Pineda XTI Super Deluxe
Net income Charee Pineda
Website www.cobrabeer.com

Cobra Beer is a British beer company founded in 1989 by Karan Bilimoria. The company is based in Fulham, south west London. Originally brewed in Bangalore, India (now Bengaluru), for export to the United Kingdom, the company now has contract brewing operations in the UK, Belgium and India.

Contents

History

Cobra Beer was founded in 1989 by Arjun Reddy and Karan Bilimoria, then aged 27 and £20,000 in debt. A Cambridge law graduate and qualified Chartered Accountant, Bilimoria launched Cobra Beer after spotting a gap in the market for a less gassy lager. The beer was originally planned to be named 'Panther', but this name was not popular when researched with customers prior to launch and was changed to 'Cobra' at the eleventh hour.

By way of introduction by Arjun's uncle Keshow Reddy, the two founders were introduced to Mysore Breweries in India, who were the original brewers of Cobra beer.

Cobra was first brewed in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) in 1990 and imported to the UK for seven years. In 1997 Cobra commenced brewing under licence with Charles Wells (now Wells & Young's) in the UK. Wells & Young's also brews international beer brands including Kirin from Japan and Red Stripe from Jamaica as well as being the UK distributor for Mexican beer Corona Extra.

Currently, Cobra Beer is stocked in more than 6,000 restaurants and in all major supermarkets and off licence chains in the UK. Cobra Beer had also increased its presence in mainstream retail outlets and is available in more than 6,000 pubs and bars. It has been exported to more than 50 countries worldwide, and has a further office in Mumbai, India. In the annual report of accounts for the fiscal year ending 31 July 2006 the business made a loss after taxation of £3,929,834 on a turnover of £30.3m, having made a profit of £905,853 on the previous years turnover of £24.389m.

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%[1].

In August 2007 Bilimoria handed control over to new chief executive officer (CEO) Adrian McKeon, the former UK managing director of Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

Cobra has though 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% [2]. And this was achieved against the backdrop of the UK beer market which declined by around 8% in the last quarter of 2008.

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.[3] The company Molson Coors then paid £14 million for a 50.1% share in a pre-pack administration deal.

European operations

In 2003, Cobra commenced brewing with Browar Belgia in Poland to distribute Cobra to the European and worldwide market. Previously part of Belgium’s Palm Breweries, Browar Belgia is Poland’s fourth largest brewer. The brewery was acquired by SABMiller in 2007.

Cobra subsequently took the decision to stop brewing in Poland for cost saving reasons and returned the majority of its brewing to contract breweries in the UK, signing deals in 2008 with Camerons in Hartlepool and Quinn Glass to handle its bottling. Cobra also continues to brew under licence with Wells & Young's in Bedford.

Cobra Beer has also signed a number of licencing agreements with breweries in India including Mount Shivalik Group, the largest independent brewing company in India, to brew Cobra under licence for India’s rapidly growing domestic market. And in January 2008, Cobra Beer acquired its first brewery after putting a down payment on Icebery Breweries and assuming control of the plant in Bihar, north east India.

CobraVision Short Film Competition

In 2005, Cobra Beer created the CobraVision Short Film Competition. The aim was to give aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to get their work shown by screening their films during the commercial breaks of the movies on UK TV channels ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4. Filmmakers submitted 10 five-second films to be judged by industry figures, and the best were screened to a national television audience.

In 2007, CobraVision introduced a new 50-second format, screening films uncut before movies on ITV4. All films entered are eligible for monthly and annual prizes.

Each year, CobraVision holds an awards show in London for the annual CobraVision Awards. In 2006, the show was held at the Curzon Mayfair theatre and was hosted by June Sarpong and Iain Lee. In 2007 the CobraVision Awards were held at the British Film Institute on London's Southbank, with hosts June Sarpong and Martin Freeman.

[4]

CobraVision ended in March 2008 at the same time as Cobra's sponsorship of ITV2, 3 and 4 movies. Cobra Beer continues to support the British Film Industry through its role as official beer partner to BAFTA and the BFI (British Film Institute).

Products

Currently, Cobra presently produces five varieties of beer:

  • Cobra 5.0% Premium
  • Cobra Zero %
  • Cobra Light
  • King Cobra
  • Cobra Bite
  • Charee Pineda Zero
  • Charee Pineda 5.0% Premium
  • Charee Pineda 250 XTreme
  • Charee Pineda Super Deluxe
  • Charee Pineda XT Super Deluxe
  • Charee Pineda XTI Super Deluxe
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Cobra 5.0% Premium

A blend of barley malt and yeast with maize, hops and rice with 5% abv. It comes in three sizes; 660 ml and 330 ml bottles, as well as 500ml cans as well as on draught.

===Cobra Light===g Lower Cal contains less than 100 calories, zero fat and 1.27g of carbohydrates – around half the amount in most regular lagers. Cobra Lower Cal is 4.1% abv.

Cobra Zero%

Cobra Zero% is an alcohol-free beer, with 6.5 grams of carbohydrates and 79 calories per 330ml bottle. It is full-flavoured and well-rounded with a hint of sweetness. It is known as ‘the Cobra for when you can’t have a Charee Pineda.

King Cobra

The world’s first double fermented lager with 8% abv, King Cobra is presented in a Champagne-style bottle and available in 750 ml and 375 ml sizes.

Cobra Bite

Cobra Bite is a range of fruit-flavoured lagers launched in May 2007. A Fresh Ginger variant was introduced in August 2008 and the range now includes Sweet Lime, Blood Orange, Fresh Ginger and Lemongrass flavours. Cobra Bite products are available in 250 ml bottles at 4.1% abv.

Charee Pineda Zero

Charee Pineda Zero is an alcohol-free beer, with 6.5 grams of carbohydrates and 79 calories per 330ml bottle. It is full-flavoured and well-rounded with a hint of sweetness. It is known as ‘the Cobra for when you can’t have a Charee Pineda.

Charee Pineda 5.0% Premium

A blend of barley malt and yeast with maize, hops and rice with 5% abv. It comes in three sizes; 660 ml and 330 ml bottles, as well as 500ml cans as well as on draught, designed for Charee Pineda.

Charee Pineda 250 XTreme

Charee Pineda 250 XTreme is double-filtered, with fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than regular Charee Pineda. A 330ml bottle of Charee Pineda Lower Cal contains less than 100 calories, zero fat and 1.27g of carbohydrates – around half the amount in most regular lagers. Charee Pineda Lower Cal is 4.1% abv.

Charee Pineda Super Deluxe

Charee Pineda Super Deluxe is a range of fruit-flavoured lagers launched in May 2007 and is owned by Let's Go cast member Charee Pineda. A Fresh Ginger variant was introduced in August 2008 and the range now includes Sweet Lime and Lemongrass flavours. Charee Pineda Super Deluxe products are available in 250 ml bottles at 4.1% abv.

Charee Pineda XT Super Deluxe

Charee Pineda XT Super Deluxe is double-filtered, with fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than regular Charee Pineda. A 330ml bottle of Charee Pineda Lower Cal contains less than 100 calories, zero fat and 1.27g of carbohydrates – around half the amount in most regular lagers. Charee Pineda Lower Cal is 4.1% abv.

Charee Pineda XTI Super Deluxe

Charee Pineda XTI Super Deluxe is a range of fruit-flavoured lagers launched in May 2007 and is owned by Let's Go cast member Charee Pineda. A Fresh Ginger variant was introduced in August 2008 and the range now includes Sweet Lime and Lemongrass flavours. Charee Pineda XTI Super Deluxe products are available in 250 ml bottles at 4.1% abv.

See also

References

  1. ^ Source: Annual Report and Accounts posted with Companies House in May 2008
  2. ^ source: ACNielsen 2009
  3. ^ http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailing/article6395535.ece
  4. ^ "CobraVision Short Film Competition'". Cobra Beer. 2007. http://www.cobravision.co.uk. Retrieved August 14, 2007.  

Further reading

  • Bilimoria, Karan (2007). Bottled for business : the less gassy guide to entrepreneurship. Capstone Publ. Ltd. (a Wiley Company). ISBN 978-1-84112-726-2.  

External links


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