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Alcobrew launches One More Pure Craft Vodka

One More Pure Craft Vodka, from Alcobrew Distilleries was launched recently in UP recently. The vodka has been launched keeping in mind the growing popularity of white spirits doing well in India in the last one decade and poised to continue its growth in the coming decade as well. The brand believes that the alcohol has a very trendy, cosmopolitan feel to the liquor and it gives a lot of freedom to the bartenders to curate quirky cocktail flavours, which are highly appreciated by the experimentative millennials.

The vodka has been launched in two flavours, Plain and Green Apple. It is made from high quality imported Indian grain spirit and natural extracts giving it a smooth and refreshing taste, making it the best tasting vodka in its category. The multiple distilled vodka has been produced using the latest ‘Eco-fine’ technology which makes the blend extremely pure.

Alcobrew believes that being a craft vodka makes it stand apart with quality outweighing quantity. The craft vodka is manufactured in smaller batches with select ingredients meticulously supervising the quality of each lot. The entire process, therefore, requires more time and more expertise but guarantees the best tasting vodka in the category.

The brand name ‘ONE MORE’ comes from the promise of ‘MORE’: MORE distillation, MORE taste, MORE smoothness, MORE fun and MORE excitement. The brand also has its cool and funky mascot fondly called ‘DJ Mono’ (Mono means Monkey in Spanish).

The packaging of the bottle has a millennial touch with a unique shape replete with neon colours. The idea behind this unique, funky packaging is to create curiosity and grab attention of the youth, making them feel a sense of owning something that will instantly make them stand apart in the crowd.

Alcobrew is one of India’s youngest liquor manufacturers. The company caters to civil, canteen store depots and institutional markets in liquor, across India and abroad. The company established the Old Smuggler brand in India with its state-of-art manufacturing facility and robust distribution channels. Besides Old Smuggler Scotch whisky and rum, Alcobrew is proud of its quality in-house brands comprising of White & Blue Whisky, Golfer’s Shot Whisky, White Hills Whisky, Lion Daddy Rum and Victorio Brandy that are manufactured, bottled, distributed and marketed by the company.

Will India move to Ban Imported Goods at Defence Canteens?

A recent report from Reuters states that India has asked its Canteen Stores Department (CSD) to stop procuring imported Scotch for its 4,000 military stores. Signalling that it could be a challenge for international companies like Diageo and Pernod Ricard. Reports indicate that imported liquor sales at defence stores generate only about $17 million in annual sales, which isn’t a lot, but would still act as a dampener for international brands.

The report states that an internal order was issued on October 19th of this year by the defence ministry, stating that in future, ‘procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken’. The order also said that the issue had been discussed with the Army, Air Force and the Navy in May and July, and was aimed at supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to promote domestic goods. Although the order did not specify which products would be targeted, it is believed that imported liquor could be on the list.

Reuters had earlier reported in June that Pernod and Diageo had briefly stopped receiving orders for their imported brands from such government stores. Although that could be part of the challenge due to the pandemic and SOPs at that time.

The defence canteens of India sell liquor, electronics and other goods at discounted prices to soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families. The annual estimated sales of this canteen/shops is over $2 billion making it one the largest retail chains in India. Although liquor makes a small portion of these sales, according to Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) imports make up around 6-7% of total sales value in the defence shops for all consumer products.

Best Indian Gins

The Gin scene in India has blown up phenomenally in the last two years prompting a number of international brands vying for that market space. But in these two years Indian manufacturers have also become aggressive in launching their Gins in India.

In this video we showcase our picks of the Best Homegrown Gins from India and why you should try them.

Jack Daniel’s announces Global Relaunch of its Brand

Unveils platform titled ‘Make It Count’, first global campaign in its 154-year history.

As part of the rebranding exercise and for the first time in its 154-year history, Jack Daniel’s is being relaunched globally with a new brand communication platform titled ‘Make it Count’. The idea behind the new tagline is to inject new energy into the brand.

With the new tagline the brand is looking to showcase a new way of thinking in its 154-year history to celebrate the people who drink it. And the campaign around is being focused on the impact on peoples’ lives when they decide to choose boldly and with purpose every day, much like Mr. Jack did throughout his own life. The new campaign will be brought to life through multiple executions on TV, social, digital, out of home and print platforms in 100+ countries simultaneously. 

The inspiration for the campaign comes from a vintage Jack Daniel’s ad that read “Proudly served in fine establishments and questionable joints.” 

Inspiration Ad for the Tag Line. Image Courtesy: Sinibooks

“With ‘Make it Count’ we have a long-term platform that resonates with consumers, especially in today’s environment, and carries the message of Jack’s bold, independent spirit,” said Matias Bentel, Chief Brands Officer of Jack Daniel’s parent company, Brown-Forman. 

The brand hopes that the ‘Make it Count’ platform in the long-term resonates with the consumers, especially in today’s environment, and carries the message of Jack’s bold, independent spirit. The ‘Make It Count’ campaign will be celebrated and brought to life in India market as well through a multitude of brand activities over the next few months.

“The new creative platform reintroduces Jack Daniel’s to the world in a big, bold way that would create meaning and difference in the hearts and minds of the next generation of consumers,” Vineet AgrawalMarketing and Commercial Director, India Area, Brown-Forman. 

‘I believe our business is ready to shift gears’ – Varun Jain, CEO, NV Group

With premiumisation being the mantra for many alcobev manufacturers, NV Distilleries not only looking at pushing its domestic market but also making tremendous efforts in the export market as well. Varun Jain, CEO, NV Group feels that the company is now ready to shift its gears as he speaks to Bhavya Desai on its roadmap.

Given the current scenario of the industry, how is NV looking at its roadmap for the current year?

In my opinion all companies have had to face losses in their business as the market was either completely or partially closed. For example, Mumbai allowed only door delivery from the retail outlet before opening the markets. Number of State Government announced lockdown on weekends as well which also adversely affected liquor sales. The liquor industry registered more than 50% drop in its volume during March and April due to the pandemic. 

However, most of the market have substantially recovered their volumes now, except states like Goa and Daman due to the reduced influx of tourists. NV is bridging the gap by putting in place a robust production blueprint which will ensure immediate supply to those states where stock is being currently imported from neighbouring states. 

We are also strengthening the distribution base at all levels and focusing on Retail and Modern trade outlets. We at NV have also talented marketing professionals to take care of the consumer off take from retail and on-premise outlets.

What plans did the company put in place to mitigate any challenges that came from the pandemic?

There are challenges at all levels during the ongoing pandemic. We had to work from home,

keep everything sanitized (People/Place/documents/ Vehicles/Plant and Machinery, etc.) and yet produce the best possible results. The greatest challenges were faced by our work force in the field and manufacturing units.

Every individual is provided with masks/gloves and sanitizers and pedal operated sanitizers are placed in all offices and plants. The norms of maintaining social – distancing are strictly followed by each and everyone and we are in constant touch with all operation managers through Zoom calls only.

What aspects do you attribute to Smoke Vodka’s success?

Smoke Vodka has been well received by the market and also surpassed our expectations. The reason for this is its top of the line packaging and pricing. The price of the Vodka, its 5 times distillation, aniseed flavor (which no other brand offers and a support of three brand extensions, smoke clothing lines / smoke natural spring water in can & smoke sanitizer) have ensured its reach and visibility in a very short span of time.

The innovative digital marketing campaign and promoter led consumer promotions have substantially increased awareness and trials through miniature packs of Smoke Vodka. It is also being used as a gift article because of its international look and feel.

What is the next stage of your marketing strategy for Smoke Vodka pan India?

NV would be aggressively promoting SMOKE VODKA by adopting very innovative marketing strategies. Some of these include:

1. Broad – based consumer trials,

2. Fully exploiting the digital platform,

3. Use of Surrogates (Smoke water / Smoke Clothing line),

4. Making SMOKE visible in all relevant On and Off trade outlets, and

5. Targeting the influencers NV

These are some of the things that we are planning

Do you plan to have any other variants like Gin or Rum under the same brand name Smoke?

Smoke Vodka will be the only spirit brand. But I have created a few brand extensions like Smoke Wear, Smoke Water, Smoke Sanitizers.

How important is it for the NV Group to succeed in the premium product category?

I have always wondered if there are only a handful premium products from India. India has the resources, technology and expertise to create world-class premium products. Even we bottle for few international brands and very early on when I joined NV group, I was sure that I wanted to have our own homegrown portfolio of premium brands. 

Smoke Lab is the first premium brand and we are launching in the USA and other international markets now. There are plans for few more premium brands in the pipeline that will be launched next year. It is important for NV Group and I, personally, to succeed in the premium category. I believe our business is ready to shift gears and capture the premium category. This will establish NV Group as a real global player in the international spirits business.

How is the export market of your products for you?

We are putting tremendous focus on the export market. We have been exporting few brands to the UAE and Africa. Smoke Vodka plans were delayed by a few weeks due to the pandemic but we quickly adapted and stayed the course. By October, Smoke Vodka will be available in USA and few other countries as well.

What are the company’s ambitions to boost its status in the alcobev industry?

NV has the potential of being one of the leading manufacturers and marketer in the industry. There is no other company whose Product – portfolio can be compared with that of NV. We offer Whisky, Rum , Gin ,Brandy , Duet and Vodka at different price points to cater to every segment of the society. 

We can proudly claim that our entire product portfolio sells uniformly and well across states, giving run for their money to the existing giants. NV would be opening in all major markets of India soon led by Smoke Vodka.

How has the company fared this year and what have been the highlights of these results?

NV Group has successfully established markets like Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and UP in the last one year. The company has also introduced its topmen brands like Smoke Vodka, Royal Envy Whisky in the western region. This brand is showing huge consumer pull thanks to our innovative marketing and distribution campaign. 

The highlights of this year are as under:

1. Successful launch of Smoke Vodka.

2. Revamping of packaging of brands like, Royal Envy Premium whisky & Blue Moon Vodka.

3. Introduction of Smoke Water in 500 ml Can.

4. Aggressive digital campaign on Smoke Vodka and its surrogate.

5. Restructuring of the operating team in Sales and Marketing.

Amrut expands into the Domestic market

Indian whiskies have slowly but surely been making their mark on an international stage. While a number of them have reached millionaire status one of the original flag bearer of putting India on that map is undoubtedly Amrut. Their Indian Single Malts have won numerous awards globally and the distillery is now looking to bring that same flavour and enthusiasm to the India consumers with their recently created Luxury Malts & Spirits (LMS) Division. As the name suggests, this division is driving the ultra-premium brands of the company to domestic market. Bhavya Desai spoke to Rakshit Jagdale, MD, Amrut Distilleries on this development. Excerpts: 

Amrut Distillers took a while in expanding their footprint in the domestic market? Any reason why?

Amrut has been catering to our customers in India for sometime now. We follow the policy of ‘steady build‘ and our brands are loved all over the world including India. 

We have recently started our Division called Luxury Malts & Spirits Division which is focusing on our Premium brands. This division is responsible for making our premium brands available in India and we are happy that the products have been received well so far. 

How has the response been to the products so far? 

We are glad to inform you that our Amrut’s Amalgam Malt Whisky has made its mark in India as well. As the name suggests it’s made out of amalgamation of Single Malts from three regions – Scotland, Asia and Our own Malts. It has already been well accepted in Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Chandigarh etc and it’s acceptance amongst our esteemed armed forces through CSD has also been very satisfying.

Apart from this our latest offering, the Amrut’s Amalgam Peated has also been well received by the consumers who have ‘graduated‘ to the acquired taste of peat. The brand is gaining momentum state after state . 

Our Two Indies Rum which has the distinction of being made out of Jaggery is also being rolled out in India. It is a brilliant product packed with an heavy bottom glass bottle for the Rum lovers 

Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt Whisky

What is the pricing strategy of the products currently (in terms of price points, etc) against competitors? 

We follow the doctrine of supplying ‘best in class‘ products on basis of quality and packaging. We do not look at competition for pricing.

We look at the futuristic ‘need gap‘ of the consumers and a lot of work at our distillery at Bangalore to offer expressions which will suit the needs of the consumers. Our motto is to delight the consumers with world class quality and packaging. 

How has the pandemic impacted your plans and the business?

The current pandemic has definitely impacted our plans, particularly since the on-trade outlets are closed and our premium brands have a bigger presence and prominence in these outlets. Nevertheless we are all geared up and have started bouncing back in an organised manner to get back to our volumes. 

What is the quantum of increase in terms of production capacity undertaken to realise this vision? Any investment plans to increase your inventory?

We have enough expansion done as far as the production capacity is concerned. We are confident of supplying our malts as per the demands. We have a war chest to cater to the growing demands of our customers in India and abroad. 

We take satisfaction in mentioning that our philosophy of being a proud Indian Company is keeping us in good stead with Our nation’s new narrative of Going Vocal for being Local . We have being following the Indian Story since long and feel proud to be an INDIAN MNC. 

Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky

What is the expected growth in terms of business and revenue following this expansion?

We expect the LMS division to give us good traction and both our top and bottom line are expected to grow as per our Annual Operating Plans.