Tag Archives: News

Churchgate just got Foo-ed!!

As legacy remains a witness, we realise that the famous Kamling has lived to be the most iconic Chinese restaurants throughout the ages. Inheriting their forefathers’ culinary versatility, Ryan and Keenan Tham, once again return, not only to ‘restore’ Kamling’s grandeur, but instead ‘evolve and expand’ its wings towards Asian Tapas dining by launching their newest property Foo Town.

Sited amongst the whirl of Churchgate, Foo Town is established where Kamling used to be – like an offspring born out of the mother’s womb. Since the Tham family has been revered for their warm hospitality experience, Mumbai’s first new age Asian Tapas restaurant also embraces this heirloom with a splendid 80-90 seating expanse. With outside seating as well, the restaurant welcomes its guests with a light caress of the green foliage that spreads above, outside as well as inside – a view seldom found.

There is awe in the air as we perceive that Foo Town is an extension of Foo Phoenix, yet diverging from it with 20 new dishes, including the Kamling Classics. Heritage remains intact as Foo Town serves the scrumptious Kamling Hakka Chicken and the delicieux whole Pomfret, along with the rich Kamling Peking Fish.

The ‘Tapas Touch’ of the restaurant is well inaugurated with the Foo Asian Burrata, a modern asian salad containing burrata and quinoa, crowned with romaine lettuce with a dash of avocado smears. The Po-Po gives us the Belgium pork with Pomelo, crafted with kafir and lemongrass, topped with peanuts and cherry tomatoes. Boasting an All- Day dining menu, Foo Town promises a prominent taste, with the splendour of its Small Plates like the lavish Japanese Vegetable Tempura with a Wasabi Mayo Dip or the Crispy Snapper glazed with a Black Bean Sauce.

Introducing the Vegan Sushi dish, The ‘Foo Vegan’ Maki provides flavours of black rice, with a dash of avocado and Thai chillies, garnished with yam beans, guacamole and miso paste. The nourishing and wholesome Steamed Foo Baskets guides one through the gourmet realms of great health and nutrition, stretching from the Edamame and Pod; the Prawns topped with Pixian sauce and the lightly cooked Super Foo Salad. The Foo Sticky Rice with Lotus leaf contains a variation for the non-vegetarians with a dash of chicken, while the Sweet Potato sided with black bean sauce gives out a creamy escapade.

The newly added Broccoli dumpling bursts into flavours, as the Spicy Tofu dumplings tingle taste buds. Also, first time in Mumbai, the audience will be amused to find the splendid Chocolate and Marshmallow Sushi Roll, on the dessert menu, right next to The Yuzu Orange Cream Caramel promises to create fascination just as the rest of the menu does.

Foo Town serves us with an indulgence of brilliant cocktails by inhouse mixologist Dimitri Lezinska, with the menu quartered into four intuitive portions. The Foo Tails hails the menu with the Absolut blended Foo King and Foo Queen, followed by Miso Sour and the discerning Gateway Pavillion. As Gin remains the vogue of the era, the menu then presents the Gin Tails – a luscious collection of Gin blends like the Spanish G&T and Foo By The Bay. The sparkle and shimmer of the drink is well displayed by the High Tails collection, where the tall glasses clink to smooth down the Marine Drive Mule and the Fountain Road Cooler. And the menu’s hindmost category remains the Wine Tails – a sombre assemblage of Sangrias from around the globe.

The Tham Family, yet again with Foo Town, presents to us a plethora of the greatest Fine Dining Asian culinary experience along with an inherited aura of warmth and hospitality to perch not only onto our food palates, but also our hearts.

Thirsty City 127 opens bar in the city from the prohibition era

REMO offers a drinking experience of bygone prohibition era.


Prohibition era is just a memory but the thrill of the forbidden fruit still has its very own magic. Bringing back an era of subterfuge and smokescreens is a speakeasy Remo, an overground bar named and modelled on the original, where Remo returns with his magical potions of flavours, herbs, botanicals and alcohol. Mixes and con-coctions he had gathered in his wide spread travels across the world.

Its not going to be easy to find Remo. You’ll need friends in “high places” because entry is by invitation only. Secret knocks and frequently changed passwords will keep in regulars and block out all CI’s eyes and snitchers.

It was the gravest of times right in the middle of the darkest era in t he city’s history. Prohibition was in full force in Bombay Presidency, and it’s capital, the feisty big little port city of Bombay bore the brunt of this the worst. Unable to control the menace with just the corrupt police forces, who were generally sympathetic to the cause of the tipplers, the administration engaged private militias of moral police who cracked down on the remaining revellers with puritanical fury.

A pall of gloom had descended upon this beautiful town by the ‘Bay’. But as we know, the night is always darkest before the dawn. And it is at this point of the story, we present our protagonist, the swashbuckling hero, who saves the day.

Remo grew up in Cuncolim in Portuguese Goa, the independent territory to the south of Bombay Presidency, where the days were easy, the living was good and the evenings were merry. Still, Remo dreamed of a more glamorous life and he set out to make his fortune and see the world. He left Cuncolim, to work on board a cargo ship, and he travelled all over the world, especially the Orient. There he discovered the dark arts of combining flavours and liquors and making exotic, magical potions that lit up the night.

Remo’s adventures eventually brought him to Bombay, and he was booked by the beguiling charms of the deacadent denizens of the city. He got a job as a supervisor in the loading depot of a cloth mill. Remo led a dual life. In the day he toiled hard at the mill. But at night he cleaned up well and became a part of the social set that mattered.

And then Prohibition was declared! The night that previously never ended, now just never happened. The days wore on, and misery reeked from the very pores of this classically beautiful Art Deco city.

No, this isn’t your regular, cookie cutter fairytale. Our hero wasn’t blonde, and he didn’t ride a white horse. Our hero’s handsome face was a burnished brown and he rode into town on a large coastal barge! Remo had thought through it all – the barge had ostensibly taken exports of bolts of cloth to Goa, but it was the secret cargo under the hold on its return that was the cunning plan. Bottles upon bottles of desperately needed alcohol, and also, herbs, fruits, botanicals – all kinds of exciting ingredients.

There is the open storage yard, on the roof of the mill, Remo set it up under the stars – hidden, yet quite in the plain sight – the most daring speakeasy bar. He dug deep into the reservoirs of his memories and recreated all the magical potions he had encountered on the travels. Remo’s was truly a go-send for the Thirsty of the City, and they left their sea-side mansions, and travelled deep into its innards, to an neighbourhood they never had been to, and sat under the stars, and restarted the night.

60 years on, NJM builds his Legion

It has been a long innings for N. J. Menon, here he shares the high points of his career. He has now formed a new company NJM Blends.

NJM, as he’s known amongst his friends, has six decades of experience in the Indian Alcohol industry and can undoubtedly be touted as one of the change-makers in the business.

N. Janardana Menon began his career as a chemist in 1959, at the first McDowell & Co. Distillery in Shertallay, Kerala. His unique technical acumen saw him rise to the rank of Unit Head. Subsequently, he became the Technical Director of the UB Group Spirits Division in 1977.

Armed with a sensory superiority that is a privilege of only a chosen few, he moved to Bangalore in 1988 as Vice President-Technical of the UB Group. Here, NJM successfully set up a world-class Technical Centre with CSIR recognition for Chemical & Sensory Analysis, Quality control, Product Development, Training and R&D facilities. He was also instrumental in formulating a Quality Control manual for the Distillery division of the Group. Perfection, precision and passion are among a few of the key attributes that that has truly shaped NJ Menon’s journey. In addition to the years of invaluable experience, training and learning through collaborations from around the world, NJM has amassed an unparalleled knowledge of brewing technology and blending craftsmanship. This exposure has allowed him to evolve his palate, producing unique blends for the Indian and international market.

McDowell’s Single Malt, McDowell’s No 1, Bagpiper, Diplomat, Signature, Gold Riband, Caesar Brandy, Honey Bee brandy, Celebration Rum, Old Cask Rum, Royal Treasure White Rum, Blue Riband Gin Duets and Romanov Vodka are just a few of the 300+ blends that NJM has developed during his career. He was also associated with the development of Black Dog 12 Year Scotch Whisky.

One of India’s most prolific and acknowledged blenders, NJ Menon also holds the unique distinction of having a model installation of his hands at the office of United Spirits, Bangalore.

After a successful tenure, NJM retired as Executive Vice President – Technical of the Spirits division in 1999, but continued as Technical Advisor to the UB Group till 2013.

But retirement only meant the beginning of a new chapter.

While working as a technical consultant to several distilleries, flavour companies and engineering firms, actively engaging in the development of blends, flavours, setting up of malt spirit plants and maturation facilities, he felt the need to do more. Having developed specialty products for clients, the time felt right for NJM to create his own legacy.

Thus, begins the story of Legion.

In September 2018, at the age of 82, Menon registered his flagship enterprise- NJM Blends, a labour of passion and perseverance. The first step towards the journey to create his legacy, the company released its first product in February 2019, a premium blended whisky named Legion. “After retirement in 1999, as a consultant, I developed a number of brands for various companies. Few of them became very popular and have now sold over a million cases. As a result, I was sought after by IMFL manufacturers.”

“This got me thinking – I should have a brand of my own with my name associated with it. I wanted the product to be superior to any existing Indian made whisky and comparable to some of the Indian bottled Scotch whiskeys. Legion is the outcome of my ambition,” explains master blender, NJ Menon.

Why Legion?

“Only a select few deserve a Legion”, reads the product label, and this couldn’t ring truer of the eponymous brand and its brand ambassador. A premium blend that is poised to raise the bar in the Indian liquor industry, Legion promises to be a sensory delight with delicate floral hints, hints of sweet cinnamon and an earthy peat finish.

Legion by NJM Blends is a story of pure passion, expertise and toil. A testament to Menon’s love for the art of blending and his indefatigable ‘spirit’, Legion marks his step into the spotlight.

It is, therefore, only fitting to raise our glasses to the true legend and to us, his ever-faithful Legion.

N. J. Menon makes dreams a reality

Dreams can be achieved if you only continue to believe and strive to make them your reality. This has never been exemplified more than with the life of master blender N. J. Menon.

What are some of the key achievements in your career?

Over a career spanning 60+ years, I have created numerous blends for most of the leading Distillers and bottlers for domestic and export markets, including some of the most popular brands which have gone on to become “millionaires”. As a blender, when a blend meets the customers’ taste preferences and the same is reflected through the sales volumes, it is highly satisfying.

I was instrumental in the development of Gin ‘Duets’ and flavoured vodkas for the first time in India.

During my years with the industry, I have led projects for set up and commission of Malt spirt manufacturing and maturation facilities, too.

In addition, there are quite a few “key” achievements which are close to my heart. Undoubtedly, setting up the Technical Centre for UB’s Spirits Division in 1988 would be one of the biggest – the centre was recognised and appreciated by CSIR for Chemical & Sensory Analysis, QC, Product development and R&D facilities. I was also actively associated with BIS in setting up of Standards for Alcoholic beverages. Leading the team which developed India’s first Single Malt – McDowell’s Single Malt Whisky – was another achievement I am really proud of.

What were the challenges to make the transition to entrepreneurship?

Since my retirement, I have continued as a technical consultant for various liquor manufacturers in India. While consulting cannot be compared to entrepreneurship in its true sense, there was always a desire to launch a portfolio of my own brands. A key challenge was to identify a production partner who will be with us for the long term, and we made progress towards that end in early 2018.

Once we got that out of the way, the finer details needed to be addressed: identifying the right agency for designing the packaging, and vendor partners for sourcing the packaging material, marketing communication, etc. For a person like me who has always focussed on the technical aspects of a product, these were interesting challenges to overcome.

The other challenge of course is finance, since we are currently running on our own steam, though many well-wishers have indicated their interest in providing funds for the venture.

Do you feel you have sufficient experience to take the brand and the company forward?

Absolutely, I wouldn’t have ventured into it if I did not feel confident about it. As far as products are concerned, my experience of knowing the Indian consumers’ taste, even as it changed over the years, will be a great advantage. Moreover, we see the Indian customer is now willing to experiment (and here I am not referring to liquor industry alone) and you cannot get a better time to launch a new product.

How is your product different from those in the market place especially in terms of quality, taste, colour which are your key strengths?

Legion Premium Whisky is an exceptionally balanced blend of Highland and Islay Malts and the taste is not something you will find in any of the regular Indian whiskies. We were clear we wanted to create a product for the discerning consumer, and the initial feedback has been extremely positive. If you talk of the colour, too, Legion stands out with a strong golden-brown hue which is often seen only in leading Scotch brands.

What are your immediate goals for the company?

We would like to establish Legion Premium Whisky as the best in segment blended whisky in the country. Currently we are now in Goa, and before the end of the financial year we would like to roll it out to couple of other key markets too.

Do you see your branching into other segments of IMFL like Rum, Brandy, Vodka and Gin?

Well, the obvious answer is ‘yes’. However, we would like to take it slowly and look at a few niche segments and therefore we will not be looking at a spectrum of products for the immediate future.

Are you looking at a pan India distribution?

Yes, absolutely. Again, we want to play it step-by-step and make sure we do justice in the markets we step into.

SCAM: Be Honest. Drink it. Don’t do it.

Launched in Chandigarh, the promoters of SCAM Beer are confident of its success.

Trying to create its own path, SCAM would like to create an unique beer brand and would like to achieve its ultimate goal of spreading excitement and positivity around the brand. In an industry dominated by major multinationals brands, SCAM seeks to create a niche for itself.

The vision of this refreshingly modern brand is backed up by the team behind it. Sugliq Global Pvt. Ltd. is promoted by Chairman Sanjay Lamba with other three Directors Paramjit Singh, Amardeep Singh and Baljinder Kashyap, who are trailblazers in their fields and form the backbone of SCAM, bringing forward a breathtaking new experience through it.

The promoters also shared some interesting figures related to beer consumption in North Indian states. While Punjab has 40 lac cases consumption per annum, Haryana consumes 100 lac cases every year. Chandigarh with 12 lac cases per annum is growing . Delhi has a consumption of 150 Lac Cases every year and HP 12 lac cases per annum. These states are growing at around 15% per annum.

We spoke to the management in detail. Excerpts of the interview.

What is the rationale behind the launch of SCAM?

Sanjay Lamba: Through the creation and launch of SCAM we are bringing something to the market which hasn’t been done before. We wanted to break the generic and monotonous ideas. And by thinking outside the box, the concept behind SCAM was born. The product is refreshing modern and unique in its content, in terms of taste and design. It holds so much character and depth which caters to the consumer who wants something more than a run-of-the-mill. SCAM does just that and raises the bar with its brilliant concept, proving the consumer with a stellar product.

How do you plan to leverage the positives behind the name, the all caps and the can design?

Sanjay Lamba: Every single design motif was carefully curated for SCAM. Every element represents and voices something about what the brand stands for and what it brings to the table. The name, SCAM in itself is multilayered. We wanted to reappropriate the term and make it unique to ourselves and redefine what it stands for. We extracted the rebellious and curious elements from it and showcased it through SCAM. It’s is now symbolic for rebellious side that exists in all of us along with honesty, creating the perfect balance and harmony.

The designs on the can echo that sentiment and ideology. It features the logo written in graffiti spray-painted font, an act of rebellion. The raising of the hands are symbolic of the youth generation uniting together for a single cause, their strength in numbers and unique personalities. Above all, by having SCAM in all caps, we want this message to reach the masses loud and clear for all to hear.

Do you own your brewery? What is your production capacity? Do you plan to have bottle packaging in 650ml and 330ml size?

Amardeep Singh: We have outsourced the production capacity and availability of capacity shall not be an issue. We shall be launching bottles in the sizes of 330ml and 650ml very soon. What is your pricing strategy for SCAM beer? Paramjit Singh: We are pricing SCAM in the premium segment. Our priority shall be to build consumer franchise through aspirational marketing and build volume on a strong foundation.

Which states do you plan to launch SCAM and is there a timeframe for an All India launch?

Baljinder Kashya: We have already launched in the states of Punjab and Haryana and shall be launching in Chandigarh, UP and Delhi very soon. Our plans are to have a national presence in 2 years time.

What is your impressions of the Indian beer market and what kind of market share are you targetting?

Paramjit Singh: The states, we are targetting in the beginning, are short of supplies and always demand driven. There is always a consumer for quality product. Our first priority is to connect with our target audience and bridge the gap between demand and supply. Market share is just a number. We believe in chasing value and not volume alone.

What is your target audience? Have you plans to broad base your target audience?

Sanjay Lamba : Our target audience are the ones who don’t believe in doing scam but drinking it. They are the ones who don’t want to follow the status quo and aren’t afraid of make their own paths and journeys. They are the trendsetters and influencers, wanting to make a positive impact on the world around them. They radiate exuberance everywhere they go, which makes SCAM, curious and bubbly the perfect companion.

Sterren Beer bags coveted award in Malaysia

Sterren Beer with its authentic German recipe produced in India under the guidelines of German Standards has been selected as the Prestigious Rising Brands of Asia 2019-20.

Incorporated in 2012, by the Chairman and Managing director, Mr. Vasudevan S, who established Sterren under the entity KALS Breweries.

Triumph of Celebration:

The KALS Group of Companies has varied interest spanning liquor retailing, motor fuel and lube, transport and logistics as well as FMCG distribution. With a grand vision to be successful in building a professional team with focused endeavors in the vertical and horizontal expansion of the Group, KALS Distilleries, KALS Beverages and KALS Breweries were formed by the visionary. Their products have already made their imprint in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, AP, Andaman, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, UP, and Puducherry and with global presence in UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, and Central Africa. Mr. Vasudevan’s visionary thought of Going Global has enabled the Product Life-Cycle Excellence of this product.

L to R: Dr. Uppilliapan Gopalan, COO, Mr. Arulmani Sekaran – Director and Mr. Rajasekaran S – Director of KALS Group, Dr. A.T. Kumara Raja – Chief Economic Advisor to Malaysian Government, Mr. Amit Sengupta – Indian Economist – Cabinet of Parliament to Modi and Chief Editor of Deccan Herald

Brand Quotient

With the headquarters in Chennai, under the stewardship of Mr. Vasudevan S, the brand Sterren celebrates more than 20% market share in this segment in TN and KALS employs more than 3000 employees. Sterren is an entry into ultra-premium with proud variants that fits the choice of all.

Sterren 6 – Premium Quality Beer (Wheat-base Beer)

Sterren 7 – Premium Quality Strong Beer (Lager Beer)

Sterren 8 – Premium Quality Extra Strong Beer (Extra Strong Beer)

Sterren- Authentic Sporty German Word-a Royal Blend of Excellence with Contemporised Brew which are available in three variants of ABV 6%, 7% and 8%. Its quality is simply stellar with an orange citrusy note and available in 650ml, 500 ml and 330 ml beverage grade cans.

Sterren 8 – Premium Strong Beer is enroute to ultra-premiumisation. Sterren -8 indeed is a mix that is consciously branded as a blend of contemporary touch with traditional pitch. Flavour and imported hops makes it a perfect top-notch that rollickingly touches the sentiments of millennials and youths. Sterren is manufactured under the aegis of an agreement through a Technology Transfer Programme from VLB (Berlin) with GMPs complying with the standards of Food Safety Management Systems (ISO 22001:2015), Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2015), & QMS, & BRC AA Standards of International Food Safety Norms

Trailblazing

Practicing brand values like trust, respect, passion and commitment, they strive to create an organisation that delights customers and associates creating a higher recall in every market present. Using their unique German technology and German Recipe they have earned a turnover of 590 million USD. Their recipe is certified under the German Standards. In order to be part of the growing consumption of the beer business and also to be a full-spectrum alcoholic beverage company they strive to deliver integrity, quality and consistency with Sustainable Brand Augmentation for customer loyalty. Their brewery plant is a fully-automatic plant best-in-class in the country with end-to-end manufacturing. It is one of the few brewery plants in the country with Can Beer Line, which services the export market.

Cutting Edge

The German quality of Sterren Beer embarks the taste, flavour and texture on the taste-buds of the consumers. They have invested in research and surveys as they strongly believe in feedback resulting satisfaction and an opportunity of loyalty. The brand interacts and engages with their customers through influential marketing, participation in Oktober fest in Chennai (India), Beer fests and organising Sterren Nights. Their impeccable quality and product packaging also contribute to the high customer acceptance.

Dr. Uppiliappan Gopalan – awarded Most Admired Business Leader for 2019

The winners of the awards for most Admired Leaders 2019 and Prestigious Brands of Asia 2019 were announced at the Malaysia, Global Business Symposium organized by Herald Global at Hotel Inter Continental recently.



The event was attended by honourable guests from all over Asia. The guest of Honour included Datuk Seri Garry Chua – President, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Datuk AT Kumararajah – Deputy President, Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI), Datuk Munirah Abdul Hamid – Founder, Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, Dr Zainab, Malaysia Palm Oil Board and Mr. Surendran Menon from Malaysia Indian Business council. They shared their respective opinions and perspective alongwith all the leaders and brands in a quick byte session about the topic “One Asia – One Vision, One Identity, One Culture” for improving relations to maintain integrity between Asian nations.

Dr. Uppiliappan Gopalan

After a sharing views, eminent personalities and brands from all over Asia were awarded for their achievements and promising future.

Dr. Uppiliappan Gopalan, COO of KALS Group – awarded as most admired Business Leader for the year 2019. Other people who bagged the awards are Ms. Larissa Ping, Miss World Malaysia, Mr. Georg Sparschuh, President of SCHOTT tubing, Mr. Vishen Lakhiani, Mr. Uday Kotak – CMD of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mr Mukesh Amabani – CEO of Reliance Industries Limited and Mr. Sachin Tendulkar – Indian Cricketer

Dr Uppiliappan Gopalan- Group COO (KALS Group), an astute strategist with impeccable business acumen, is a Chemical Engineer (B Tech) and an Post Diploma in Management from IIM-Bangalore with Finance & Operations Specialization. He holds an Executive Diploma in Advanced Financial Analytics from globally renowned London Business School (LBS). He also holds a Doctorate Degree in Supply Chain & Finance Integration. Dr Uppiliappan is also Prestigious awardee of Peter Drucker Award for the year 2016 for the outstanding performance in Finance & Business Process Automation Category of Automotive Sector during his stint with M/s Bhatia Brothers Group as COO, an AED 1.8 Mn Conglomerate in UAE with presence in 10 Countries.

Dr. Gopalan is a strategic think-tank cum implementer with recognised proficiency in spearheading operations/business with an aim to accomplish corporate plans and goals successfully. Dr. Gopalan is a well-known adjuct faculty for Finance & Supply Chain and has been invited by various forums as Conference Speaker & Conference Chair. Currently, he serves as Technical Advisory Committee – Titanium Finance Conference for Finance Professionals (Ireland).

He was a Keynote Speaker – Northwest Business Group Conference in Mastering Human Capital (Istanbul) – Role of TQM in Value Addition for Business; Session Planery Speaker –ARTDO – Manila (Asia-Pacific- Re-engineering Towards a Strategic and Driven Workforce; and Conference Co-Chair for 17 International Symposium of Banking, Finance, & Economics (Singapore).

Under Gopalan’s guidance, organisations attained various expertise in financial services and solutions. Being the Top 100 Globally acclaimed SAP Certified Resource for Finance, Treasury, & Supply Chain Modules & Top 10 Operational Excellence Certified Professional in APAC, Dr Gopalan’s core strength lies in Strategy Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Emerging Markets Development, Techno-commercial Evaluations, Financial Modelling and Business Valuations, Project Management (Greenfield / Brown Field), and Blue Ocean Strategies. With the hands-on expertise in handling a revenue size of 600 Million USD, Dr. Gopalan is versatile on P & L Management, Operational Excellence, Excellence in Financial Management, & Projects Management.

The Industry Today And The Opportunities Of The Future

The first guest speaker at the TFWA Asia Pacific Conference was Andrew Ford, President of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association. He detailed the four areas of his organisation’s activity – advocacy and helping the industry to defend itself, research, (including a report on young China produced in partnership with TFWA), training, and events. With more and more issues facing the industry, and the policy changes that have been taking place in Europe coming to Asia, airports are, he said, more engaged and more aware of the need for advocacy. The association’s Economic Impact report will, he stated, provide valuable insight into the scale and scope of the industry in Asia.

Copyright: TFWA Press Office

A thought-provoking keynote address from The Economist’s Foreign Editor Robert Guest looked at how the geopolitical climate is affecting trading relationships between the world’s superpowers. He spoke of how societies can be ‘open’ or ‘closed’. Travel, he said, can only be good for the world as it broadens the mind. When you let people in, he concluded, you get the benefit of their ideas and culture – and that makes the world more prosperous.

Next on stage, Kate Ancketill, CEO of GDR Creative Intelligence offered fascinating insight into how ‘new retail’ (combining online, offline logistics and data across a single value chain) will define the retail landscape of the future. Multi-tracking, which sees the same retail space adapted and regularly updated to suit a wide range of consumers, is one of the most important movements that is shaping today’s retail.

3Sixty’s Executive Vice President Roberto Graziani spoke of the retail revolution that started with e-commerce and accelerated with the development of smartphone technology. With 25% of all e-commerce sales in the US already being carried out on a mobile, online channels will soon overtake offline. Effective partnerships to leverage data, strong use of data analytics and innovation are essential for omnichannel to truly elevate travel retail.

Offering an airline’s perspective, Campbell Wilson, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Singapore Airlines said that the airline is usually the anchor in any data consortium. He said that sales can no longer only take place on board, and airlines must go online to give travellers what they want, when they want it.

Copyright: TFWA Press Office

Przemyslaw Lesniak, CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail Pacific stated that in the current travel retail market, being a superb retailer is no longer enough. He outlined how he had adopted the welcoming and fun characteristics of the local culture within his own business. More than a brand or retailer, we should actually strive to be ‘an unforgettable host’, he said.

Dong-ik Shin, Director of Concession Planning Team at Incheon International Airport explored the role of retail in the airport of the future. He described a virtuous cycle, in which revenue from travel retail is used to improve facilities and maintain lower charges. This helps airlines to become more competitive and bring in more passengers, which in turn increases retail revenues. Already enjoying duty free revenues which are growing much faster than passenger traffic, his airport’s vision is, he said, to become the world’s best for shopping and dining by 2025.

Duty Free World Council’s President Frank O’Connell took to the stage to announce the launch of an industry-wide training platform, created in partnership with the Institute of International Retail. While face-to-face training can be costly and takes staff off the sales floor, the new programme is a cost-effective way to deliver an internationally recognised educational programme. It will provide clear career pathways which will help to improve staff retention, and build a community of loyal staff which will positively impact returns.

Moving on to the highly pertinent subject of sustainability, Vanessa Wright, Group Vice President of Pernod Ricard stated that increasingly consumers want to work for and buy from companies that ‘do the right thing’. There are a number of simple measures that the travel retail industry can take, such as offsetting, but sustainability should be the responsibility of all in an organisation, not simply that of one department. Her own company’s action plan detailed a commitment to strive for sustainability ‘from grain to glass’.

Gemma Bateson, JTI Worldwide Duty Free Corporate Affairs Director examined the challenges arising from the legislative constraints encroaching on brands’ capacity to market themselves effectively. While regulation is not per se a ‘bad thing’, that regulation, which is often designed for the different circumstances of the domestic market, must be proportionate and sensible. The demand for regulation relating to product labelling will affect all categories, and she called for a united approach in combatting the threat.

Nestlé International Travel Retail’s General Manager Stewart Dryburgh said that there was plenty of room for growth in his category, and confectionery & fine food could be worth US $10 billion in 10 years’ time. Key to this growth is meeting consumers’ three core needs, which are Deeper Connections (meaning how connected consumers are to friends and family); Better for You (the ability to choose healthier products); and Elevated Experiences (which means enjoying a bigger and better experience).

The day concluded with a look into the future of technology from Alan Brennan, Managing Director at creative commercial tech agency dcGTR. He said success within the duty free and travel retail industry will be affected by our ability to research and establish what our customers want. Virtual reality technology can enable us to understand how customers would behave in a store, and what choices they would make, without the need to invest in a physical building.

Worldwide Alcohol Consumption Declines -1.6%

IWSR 2018 Global Beverage Alcohol Data shows growth in spirits, but beer and wine volume is down; market expected to grow by 3% over next five years.
Beverage alcohol drinkers across the globe consumed a total of 27.6bn nine-litre cases of alcohol in 2018, but while that number represents a decrease of -1.6% from the year prior, new data from the IWSR forecasts that total alcohol consumption will steadily increase over the next five years, to 28.5bn cases in 2023. In terms of retail value, the global market for beverage alcohol in 2018 was just over $1tn, a number which the IWSR expects to grow 7% by 2023 as consumers continue to trade up to higher-quality products. These figures – and more than 1.5m other points of data – are included in the just-released IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Global Database, which also shows:
Gin was the Leading Global Growth Category in 2018, and Forecasted to Reach 88m Cases by 2023
The largest gain in global beverage alcohol consumption in 2018 was in the gin category, which posted total growth of 8.3% versus 2017. Pink gin was a key growth driver, helping the category sell more than 72m nine-litre cases globally last year. In the UK alone, gin was up 32.5% in 2018, and the Philippines (the world’s large

st gin market) posted growth of 8%, fueled by a booming cocktail scene and premiumisation of the market. By 2023, the gin category is expected to reach 88.4m cases globally, with particular strong growth in key markets such as the UK, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Uganda, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada and France. Notably, Brazil has emerged as a new hotspot for the categ ory, with volumes there more than doubling last year and forecasted to grow at 27.5% CAGR 2018-2023, as the gin-and-tonic trend has increased in upmarket bars of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Consumption of Whisky and Agave-Based Spirits Continues to Increase
Spurred by innovation in whisky cocktails and highballs, the global whisky category increased by 7% last year, driven in large part by a strong Indian economy (whisky grew by 10.5% in India, as consumers continue to trade up in the category). The US and Japan posted 5% and 8% growth, respectively. The IWSR forecasts whisky to grow by 5.7% CAGR from 2018 to 2023, to almost 581m nine-litre cases. Also, continued interest in tequila and mezcal (especially in the US), and innovation in more premium variants and cocktails, drove the agave-based spirits category to 5.5% global growth in 2018 – and is expected to post 4% growth over the next five years (2018-2023 CAGR).
Mixed Drinks and Cider Grow
The mixed drinks category (which includes premixed cocktails, long drinks, and flavoured alcoholic beverages) grew 5% globally in 2018. By 2023, it is projected that more than 597m nine-litre cases of mixed drinks will be consumed across the world. The growth is backed by continued strong gains in ready-to-drink (RTD) cans in the US an d Japan, the category’s two largest markets. In Japan, most RTDs are locally made and almost exclusive to Japan. Their popularity is partly due to the fact that they are relatively dry, which makes them more food-friendly and sessionable. In the US, the popularity of alcohol seltzers has been a tremendous engine for growth in the RTD market. In the cider category, as investment levels in those products continue to rise, almost 270m cases are expected by 2023, a 2.0% CAGR 2018-2023. Both of those categories (mixed drinks and cider) are taking share from beer as perceived accessibility increases (less bitter, easier to drink).
Vodka, Liqueurs, and Cane Spirits are in Decline
Vodka lost volume in 2018 (-2.6%) as the market for lower-priced brands continued its decline in Russia and the Ukraine (two of the largest markets for this spirit). Higher-priced vodkas, however, showed a more positive trend last year. Nonetheless, the outlook for total vodka over the next five years remains sluggish as the category is forecasted at -1.7% CAGR 2018-2023. Also in decline is the flavoured spirits category (liqueurs), which dropped by -1.5% globally in 2018, and is expected to continue to slip in 2019 before rebounding slightly in 2020. Cane spirits (primarily Brazilian cachaça) was down -1.6% last year, and is forecasted to lose another 4.5m cases by 2023.
Beer Continued to Lose Volume in 2018, but is Expected to Rebound
Global beer declined -2.2% in 2018, impacted greatly from volume decreases in China (-13%). Other large markets such as the US and Brazil also fell (-1.6% and -2.3%, respectively), while Mexico and Germany saw growth (6.6% and 1%, respectively). The future outlook for beer, however, paints a more positive picture, as the category is expected to show a slight increase in 2019 and post a 0.7% CAGR 2018-2023.
Wine Volume Declines, but Value Increases
Wine, which had posted strong global growth in 2017, lost -1.6% in volume in 2018 as wine consumption declined in major markets such as China, Italy, France, Germany and Spain (the US market was flat). However, though consumers are drinking less wine, they’re increasingly drinking better – pushing wine value to increase. Globally, the retail value of wine is projected at $224.5bn by 2023, up from $215.8bn in 2018. The one bright spot in wine volume is the sparkling wine category, which is expected to show a five-year CAGR of 1.17% 2018-2023, driven in large part by prosecco.
Low- and No-Alcohol Products on the Rise
Low- and no-alcohol brands are showing significant growth in key markets as consumers increasingly seek better-for-you products, and explore ways to reduce their alcohol intake. Growth of no-alcohol beer is expected at 8.8%, and low-alcohol beer at 2.8%. No-alcohol still wine is forecasted at 13.5%, and low-alcohol still wine at 5.6%. Growth of no-alcohol mixed drinks is predicted at 8.6%. (Above figures are all CAGR 2018-2023.)
Top Ten Performing Global Markets, 2018-2023
A look at the world’s fastest-growing beverage alcohol markets shows an emergence across a variety of developing countries. A combination of growing legal-drinking-age populations and healthy economies is driving some of this growth, which is expected to continue over the next five years. “Every year our analysts spend months traveling the world to speak with suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other beverage alcohol professionals to assess what is happening market by market in this fast-changing business,” says Mark Meek, the IWSR’s CEO. “The raw data we collect is enormously valuable, but equally important is what that data tells us in terms of trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the industry.”

Thibault Cuny appointed as the new CEO for Pernod Ricard India

Thibault Cuny has been appointed as the new CEO for Pernod Ricard India. He has held the position of CEO and President of Pernod Ricard, Brasil since 2012. He has also previously worked at Pernod Ricard Holding in Paris as Audit and Development Manager and as Executive Vice President – Finance at Pernod Ricard South Asia since 2006.

Cuny has been under the Pernod Ricard umbrella since 2003 and has held various job titles in the company. Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of € 8,558 million in 2014/15 and the fastest growing multinational beverage alcohol company in India with a business spanning the entire length and breadth of the country delivering quality products to its discerning consumers.

With leading brands in each segment, Pernod Ricard India holds one of the most comprehensive and Premium portfolios in the industry led by Indian whiskies such as Royal Stag, Blenders’ Pride and Imperial Blue, along with the home grown Wine sold under the brand name Nine Hill and Indian vodka – Fuel. The company also distributes some of the leading international brands including Chivas Regal, Seagram’s 100 Pipers, Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet and Royal Salute Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey ABSOLUT Vodka, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin among white spirits category, Martell  cognac, Jacob Creek wine, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs and G.H. Mumm champagne.

Worldwide Alcohol Consumption Declines -1.6%

IWSR 2018 Global Beverage Alcohol Data Shows Growth in Spirits, but Beer and Wine Volume is Down; Market Expected to Grow by 3% Over Next 5 Years

Beverage alcohol drinkers across the globe consumed a total of 27.6bn nine-litre cases of alcohol in 2018, but while that number represents a decrease of -1.6% from the year prior, new data from the IWSR forecasts that total alcohol consumption will steadily increase over the next five years, to 28.5bn cases in 2023.

In terms of retail value, the global market for beverage alcohol in 2018 was just over $1tn, a number which the IWSR expects to grow 7% by 2023 as consumers continue to trade up to higher-quality products.

These figures – and more than 1.5m other points of data – are included in the just-released IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Global Database, which also shows:

Gin was the Leading Global Growth Category in 2018, and Forecasted to Reach 88m Cases by 2023

The largest gain in global beverage alcohol consumption in 2018 was in the gin category, which posted total growth of 8.3% versus 2017. Pink gin was a key growth driver, helping the category sell more than 72m nine-litre cases globally last year. In the UK alone, gin was up 32.5% in 2018, and the Philippines (the world’s largest gin market) posted growth of 8%, fueled by a booming cocktail scene and premiumisation of the market. By 2023, the gin category is expected to reach 88.4m cases globally, with particular strong growth in key markets such as the UK, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Uganda, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada and France. Notably, Brazil has emerged as a new hotspot for the category, with volumes there more than doubling last year and forecasted to grow at 27.5% CAGR 2018-2023, as the gin-and-tonic trend has increased in upmarket bars of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Consumption of Whisky and Agave-Based Spirits Continues to Increase

Spurred by innovation in whisky cocktails and highballs, the global whisky category increased by 7% last year, driven in large part by a strong Indian economy (whisky grew by 10.5% in India, as consumers continue to trade up in the category). The US and Japan posted 5% and 8% growth, respectively. The IWSR forecasts whisky to grow by 5.7% CAGR from 2018 to 2023, to almost 581m nine-litre cases. Also, continued interest in tequila and mezcal (especially in the US), and innovation in more premium variants and cocktails, drove the agave-based spirits category to 5.5% global growth in 2018 – and is expected to post 4% growth over the next five years (2018-2023 CAGR).

Mixed Drinks and Cider Grow

The mixed drinks category (which includes premixed cocktails, long drinks, and flavoured alcoholic beverages) grew 5% globally in 2018. By 2023, it is projected that more than 597m nine-litre cases of mixed drinks will be consumed across the world. The growth is backed by continued strong gains in ready-to-drink (RTD) cans in the US and Japan, the category’s two largest markets. In Japan, most RTDs are locally made and almost exclusive to Japan. Their popularity is partly due to the fact that they are relatively dry, which makes them more food-friendly and sessionable. In the US, the popularity of alcohol seltzers has been a tremendous engine for growth in the RTD market. In the cider category, as investment levels in those products continue to rise, almost 270m cases are expected by 2023, a 2.0% CAGR 2018-2023. Both of those categories (mixed drinks and cider) are taking share from beer as perceived accessibility increases (less bitter, easier to drink.)

Vodka, Liqueurs, and Cane Spirits are in Decline

Vodka lost volume in 2018 (-2.6%) as the market for lower-priced brands continued its decline in Russia and the Ukraine (two of the largest markets for this spirit). Higher-priced vodkas, however, showed a more positive trend last year. Nonetheless, the outlook for total vodka over the next five years remains sluggish as the category is forecasted at -1.7% CAGR 2018-2023. Also in decline is the flavoured spirits category (liqueurs), which dropped by -1.5% globally in 2018, and is expected to continue to slip in 2019 before rebounding slightly in 2020. Cane spirits (primarily Brazilian cachaça) was down -1.6% last year, and is forecasted to lose another 4.5m cases by 2023.

Beer Continued to Lose Volume in 2018, but is Expected to Rebound

Global beer declined -2.2% in 2018, impacted greatly from volume decreases in China (-13%). Other large markets such as the US and Brazil also fell (-1.6% and -2.3%, respectively), while Mexico and Germany saw growth (6.6% and 1%, respectively). The future outlook for beer, however, paints a more positive picture, as the category is expected to show a slight increase in 2019 and post a 0.7% CAGR 2018-2023.

Wine Volume Declines, but Value Increases

Wine, which had posted strong global growth in 2017, lost -1.6% in volume in 2018 as wine consumption declined in major markets such as China, Italy, France, Germany and Spain (the US market was flat). However, though consumers are drinking less wine, they’re increasingly drinking better – pushing wine value to increase. Globally, the retail value of wine is projected at $224.5bn by 2023, up from $215.8bn in 2018. The one bright spot in wine volume is the sparkling wine category, which is expected to show a five-year CAGR of 1.17% 2018-2023, driven in large part by prosecco.

Low- and No-Alcohol Products on the Rise

Low- and no-alcohol brands are showing significant growth in key markets as consumers increasingly seek better-for-you products, and explore ways to reduce their alcohol intake. Growth of no-alcohol beer is expected at 8.8%, and low-alcohol beer at 2.8%. No-alcohol still wine is forecasted at 13.5%, and low-alcohol still wine at 5.6%. Growth of no-alcohol mixed drinks is predicted at 8.6%. (Above figures are all CAGR 2018-2023.)

Top Ten Performing Global Markets, 2018-2023

A look at the world’s fastest-growing beverage alcohol markets shows an emergence across a variety of developing countries. A combination of growing legal-drinking-age populations and healthy economies is driving some of this growth, which is expected to continue over the next five years.


“Every year our analysts spend months traveling the world to speak with suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and other beverage alcohol professionals to assess what is happening market by market in this fast-changing business,” says Mark Meek, the IWSR’s CEO. “The raw data we collect is enormously valuable, but equally important is what that data tells us in terms of trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the industry.”