Category Archives: news

MacRoys launches Extra Peat Blended Scotch Whisky in India

Macroys has launched its newest Extra Peated Blended Scotch Whisky in India which has been distilled, aged and blended in Scotland. Currently the whisky is available in Punjab and Chandigarh at a price point of Rs. 1800/- & Rs.1500/- per 750ml bottle.

What’s unique about this extra peat flavour is that this whisky has been given a smoky flavour by compounds which are released by the peat fires used to dry malted barley. The Length and intensity of exposure to the peat smoke dictates the strength of this flavour as do the characteristics of the peat itself. The blend is matured using the BB1 barrels, the once used American Oak Bourbon barrels holding only Bourbon which infuse a distinct character to the whisky.

Angus Dundee is also known for its popular brands like Tomintoul and Glencadam that are renowned with the consumers across the globe. 

Tasting Notes

Colour: Deep Amber

Nose: Sweet and smoky with aromas of toasted nuts, chimney soot, honeycomb and cocoa powder.

Palate: Layers of treacle toffees, campfire smoke, cooked fruits and Danish pastry fading into

liquorice and cake spices.

Finish: Warming and balanced with notes of honey, milk chocolate and rolling tobacco with hints of

peat smoke lingering on the tongue.

Blended, not stirred! Bacardí Rum celebrates with Limited Edition Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits

Bacardí Rum has partnered with ‘Poptails by LAPP’ to launch a limited run of delicious Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits for rum lovers to enjoy just in time for the revival of summer in the UK. Frozen cocktails are having a real moment and are currently the seventh most ordered serve for summer 2021, showing their universal popularity as Brits look to cool down from the summer heat.

Bacardí Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits will be available to pre-order from 18th August for £35, exclusively on the Poptails By LAPP website. Perfect for cocktail lovers who yearn to evolve their mixology skills while creating easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing cocktails within minutes when entertaining.

Cocktail enthusiasts will be able to choose between two kit flavours – a tropical coconut and pineapple kit made with bold and fresh Bacardí Coconut to make a Rumstar Colada frozen cocktail (a twist on the classic Pornstar Martini), or a zesty berry kit which includes all the ingredients to make a delicious frozen Red Berry Daiquiri with tangy and sweet Bacardí Raspberry to enjoy and sip in the sun.

The Bacardí Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits will keep summer going and transport you to a tropical paradise with a vibrant drinks experience – all from the comfort of your own garden and without needing any extraordinary bartender expertise, just a blender! The kits both feature the new limited edition Bacardí Raspberry and Bacardí Coconut bottles in addition to LAPP’s non-alcoholic flavoured Poptails that arrive frozen. Just blend for 10 seconds with the fruity expression from Bacardí and other recipe ingredients for the ultimate tipple.

Inspired by the Caribbean heritage and vibrant personality of Bacardí, the new limited edition bottles will make you feel like your back yard is a beach, bringing a summer holiday vibe to any bar cart or back bar. The design also reflects the natural flavours of the ingredients in Bacardí Coconut and Bacardí Raspberry, showcasing fresh flavour inside and out.

“With many Brits staycationing in the UK this summer, August will finally bring us some much-deserved heat and how better to celebrate than with a frozen cocktail!” says Marie Peyto, Brand Director for Bacardí Rum UK. “After partnering with key bars across the UK to bring delicious frozen cocktails to the public, we wanted to create a way for people to also enjoy at home with Bacardí Rum just in time for summer’s hot finale. Now anyone can create bar-quality frozen drinks in their own kitchen with our new Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits in partnership with LAPP – complete with new eye-catching Bacardí Coconut and Raspberry bottles that are perfect for summer entertaining”.

Continuing the tropical, vibrant, and fun experiences this summer, Bacardí also announces the arrival of its new drink-dispensing billboard which will serve fruity frozen cocktails to the sun-lovers of London, creating a slice of paradise on the Thames. The public will be able to sample both Bacardí Coconut and Bacardí Raspberry in complimentary frozen cocktails on 21st and 22nd August from 12:00pm to 19:00pm at Observation Point, Southbank, and can vote for their favourite for the chance to win one of 10 Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits to enjoy at home, in the flavour of their choice.

Carlsberg India enters wheat beer segment with Tuborg White

Carlsberg India enters the premium wheat beer segment with the launch of Tuborg White. This new Tuborg offering is beyond any ordinary lager. It is a cloudy drink with a smooth refreshing taste with a subtle fruity twist. It is yet another premium beer from the portfolio of Carlsberg India that provides consumers who are seeking beverages with a new taste profile that can be enjoyed with friends and family.

Over the last decade, the wheat beer segment has developed wide acceptance in India with a loyal base of consumers. There is an opportunity to expand this segment with the right liquid providing a consistent refreshing taste.

The recipe for this brew was developed specifically to appeal to Indian consumers by expert brewers in R&D center in Copenhagen, Denmark. It delivers the consistency and perfection that Tuborg is known and loved for across the world. The new brew has been launched across Maharashtra in 500ML Can and 330ML glass bottles with an attractive launch price of `170 and `140 respectively. This is the most premium priced offering in the Tuborg portfolio and in line with the choice of ingredients and its standout packaging.

Referring to the launch, Partha Jha, Vice President Marketing, Carlsberg India said, “The launch of Tuborg White reinforces our commitment to the Indian market. Tuborg White is a unique European style brew specially customised for the Indian consumer. With the easy-to-drink refreshing liquid layered under a delicate fruity twist, we are sure it will be loved not only by lager drinkers, but all consumers looking for a change from the regular. With our manufacturing & distribution capabilities, we are confident of expanding the category and will continue to offer exciting choices to our consumers from their favourite brand.”

Tuborg White is currently available in Maharashtra and will soon be launched in other states in the coming months.

Gujarat High Court admits petition challenging prohibition

The petition has argued that the government cannot decide what a person will eat or drink inside the premises of one’s house. The petition has invoked the ‘Right to Privacy’ in challenging the prohibition law. The Gujarat government’s Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said the petition should be filed in the Supreme Court as the apex court had upheld the Act in its 1952 judgment. He contended that the law validated by the apex court cannot be overturned by the High Court.

Petitioners say matter should be heard on merits

The petitioners, however, argued that the matter should be taken up on merits, as the provisions challenged in the pleas are materially different from what they were in 1951 as they have been amended over the years. They added that the right to privacy was not recognised as a fundamental right in 1951 when the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the provisions in the prohibition law.The batch of petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of sections section 12, 13 (total prohibition on manufacture, purchase, import, transportation, export, sale, possession, use and consumption of liquor), 24-1B, 65 of the Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949, and sought them to be declared as ultra vires Article 246 of the Constitution.The provisions are “arbitrary, irrational, unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory…and despite prohibition being in place for more than six decades, a steady supply of liquor continues to be available through an underground network of bootleggers, organised criminal gangs and corrupt officials”, the petitioners who were represented by senior advocates such as Mihir Thakore, Mihir Joshi, Devan Parikh and Saurabh Soparkar said.“With expanding interpretation of the right to life, personal liberty and privacy, as contained in Article 21 of the Constitution, a citizen has a right to choose how he lives, so long as he is not a nuisance to the society. The state cannot dictate what he will eat and what he will drink,” one of the pleas said.

Right to privacy is a fundamental right’: SC

The Supreme Court in another judgment had held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and is an integral part of the right to life and liberty. Privacy is a right to be enjoyed by every human being by virtue of his or her own existence. It also extends to bodily integrity, personal autonomy, compelled speech and freedom to dissent or move or think. The right to privacy is to restrain government and private actions that threaten or hinders the privacy of individuals.

Regulation, and not prohibition, is what Gujarat needs: Devan Parikh, advocate

Devan Parikh, one of the advocates to the petitioner in a YouTube post by Vibes of India, has put forth the argument that the petitioners are not “asking for the removal of the prohibition policy lock, stock and barrel. We are asking the government to draw a fine line.”He pointed out that advertising of liquor in many parts of the world is not based on the alcohol content or intoxication. “Alcohol is sold basically for its refined taste. The kind of liquor that was available (when prohibition was introduced in 1961), there was some justification to have a rider. But after all these years and the knowledge base we have, the law needs a relook. Petitioners are saying balance the liberty a person can have, the choice a person can have. If it has an ill impact, then deal with those issues. You cannot throw the baby with the bath water.”

Four walls concept clarified

He further mentions that the petitioners are clear that you cannot do anything within the four walls. “If that is the case, I can consume drugs, I can commit any crime within my four walls. The four walls concept is not very well understood in this case.” The petitioners believe that one should have the liberty to drink in a manner that does not impact society at large or have adverse social repercussions. Devan Parikh referred to the Constitutional provision of principle of proportionality. “The Constitution permits you to put reasonable restrictions on the exercise of your rights, in public interest, in the society, and in your own interest… those interests have to be balanced. There is justification to put restrictions, put it, but in present times, does it make sense to have total prohibition. There is need for regulation not prohibition.”

Prohibition needs a relook

Taking the argument further, he said the rest of the country where there is no prohibition, are there problems or not. Will Gujarat have more problems if prohibition is lifted? “We are saying with the passage of time, people are more entitled… Constitution is a live organ and that this issue needs a relook. When prohibition was introduced look at the kind of liquor that was available then and look at the fatalities at that point of time.”Terming it as contradictory, government giving liquor permits on medical terms, he asked “a person consuming liquor for health reasons, will he or she not get intoxicated.” A person can permit in Gujarat for an annual fee of nearly ` 4,000 and the eligibility is that he or she should be above the age of 40 and should have some medical condition. Visitors too can apply for a temporary permit, but not the residents of the State.

Gujarat in a Gandhian-bind

The problem with Gujarat is that it has a perception problem. Gujarat is a state from where Mahatma Gandhi came who considered alcohol consumption as a social evil. Gujarat is caught in a Gandhian-bind. Devan Parikh asks the logic behind the prohibition in the name of Mahatma Gandhi. “With no disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi, I would like to state that Gandhi died in 1948 and at that time there was no prohibition in Gujarat till 1961. What happened during this interim period to Gandhiji’s advocacy?Till such time the High Court gives its verdict, we are going to see a lot of heightened activity from both sides espousing their causes and social media is going to flame it further. Meanwhile, liquor (including spurious) will be available through various ‘underground’ channels in Gujarat, a state which has seen many deaths due to illicit liquor. In 2012, 143 deaths were reported from Gujarat in a hooch tragedy.

Bengaluru shows the recovery path, alcohol consumption on the rise

Let’s say cheers to the ‘Pub capital’ and ‘Microbrewery capital ‘of India, Bengaluru. It is showing the way to the country that the pandemic should not upset social life with alcohol being an intrinsic part of social life. Consumption of alcohol is on the rise in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka and mind you there is considerable amount of ‘responsible drinking’ happening, with a few exceptions here and there.

The city which introduced pub, microbrewery and nightlife culture is slowly bouncing back, negotiating all the restrictions, ambiguous and unambiguous ones, placed by the government in its bid to check the spread of Covid-19. Though the bars and restaurants are tottering their way back into business, the end-consumer has found ways to keep the spirit going. This is good for the business. The end-consumer is infusing confidence in the liquor business as we witness increased liquor offtake.

Beer and IML offtake up

Consumption of beer has gone up by 38.98 % and Indian Made Liquor (IML) by 31.54% in the first five months of 2021, compared to the corresponding period in 2020 and the Karnataka Excise Department is laughing all the way to the bank. Liquor has been a money spinner for many governments and Karnataka is among the leading states to register good excise revenue. These are the first signs of recovery of the industry which like almost all other sectors was battered by the pandemic.

Karnataka hoping to touch `25,000 in Excise Revenues

Between April and August of 2021, Karnataka had sales of 87.56 lakh cartons of beer, up from 63 lakh cartons of beer in 2020. The trend was similar with regard to IML – 2.61 crore cartons in 2021, up from 1.98 crore cartons last year. Thanks to the end-consumer, the Karnataka Excise Department was able to cross the `10,000 crore revenue mark for the 5 months’ period, an increase from `7,755 crores during the corresponding period in 2020. In these five months, the Department has already registered 41.49% of its annual target and is hoping to surpass the target of `24,580 by the end of the financial year. In 2020, the Department had earned `23,332 crores, getting past the target of `22,700 crores.

Home-drinking gives a push

Thanks to the end-consumers, who quickly adapted themselves to the pandemic situation, and found ways to get their supplies and to drink at home. The Covid-19 pandemic and its associated government measures to limit mobility impacted patterns and places of alcohol consumption. Home became central for survival, for hope, for businesses to have some continuity. Work from home; online shopping; online classes; drink at home; work-out at home and the like have become the new normal, even as businesses are slowly opening up, depending upon what restrictions each State Government keeps announcing on a frequent basis. Remember Lockdown 3.0 last year and when liquor shops reopened? It was crazy queues, not just in Bengaluru, but across the country. The Karnataka Excise Department recorded liquor sales of `45 crores on the first day of reopening, even before the shutters were pulled down at 7 pm. Around 3.9 lakh litres of beer and 8.5 lakh litres of IML was sold on just one day. And one store – Tonique which boasts to be Asia’s largest liquor boutique, made a whopping business of `4 crores on its first day of reopening.

Seek lifting of restrictions

Bengaluru has become a highly vibrant city in the recent past and restaurant and bars are open till 1 a.m, though at the time of writing all restaurants, bars, clubs and wine stores have to close by 9.30 p.m. The Bengaluru Hoteliers Association President, P.C.Rao who recently met the Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai tried to convince the government on lifting the ‘unscientific restrictions’. He asked ‘Does the virus come only at night or on weekends?’ Presently, the liquor business is driven by retail vends with night curfew in place and restrictions of seating in bars and restaurants. There is no online sale of liquor in Bengaluru, but people can buy at wine stores, in mega super markets which have a separate liquor outlet and boutique stores.

Mumbai doubles liquor revenue

It is not just Bengaluru or Karnataka which is witnessing growth in sales of liquor, it is happening across the country, though dampened by the pandemic. In Mumbai, liquor revenue doubled from `264.85 crores to `512 crores with the lockdown turning out to a blessing in disguise. The Excise Department here has set a target of `19,500 crores for 2021-2022.

Pune has the most drinkers

According to a 2020 survey by Statista, Pune topped all the cities with 39.02% people consuming alcohol, followed by Mumbai (37.87%), Lucknow (37.5%), Bhubaneswar (37.3%), Hyderabad (37.24%), Delhi (35.54%), Bengaluru (33.39%), Indore (33.33%), Jaipur (32.18%), Chandigarh (28.33%), Chennai (28.16%) and Kolkata (23.5%).

FY21 sees decline in IMFL sales

However, In FY 21, there has been a 12% decline in sales of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) compared to FY20, according to the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC). For the entire fiscal year, the total sales of IMFL was 305 million cases of nine litres each.

Positive trend in third and fourth quarters expected

The Confederation Director General Vinod Giri said that many states have showed a positive trend through the quarters and added that strong performance in the third and fourth quarters of FY21 ‘reflects the fundamental strength’ in the business. “It also confirms that there is no lasting shift against alcoholic beverages in consumption baskets.” The Confederation listed five states that helped recovery in liquor sales – Maharashtra, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Some states such as West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh witnessed large decline in sales compared to the previous financial year. There is some interesting statistics when it comes to West Bengal. According to economic research agency ICRIER and law consulting firm PLR Chambers, West Bengal ranks second after Uttar Pradesh in terms of absolute number of people who consume alcohol – 1.4 crore. The five southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala together consume as much as 45% of all liquor sold in the country.

Big players bet on recovery in fiscal 2022

Carlsberg’s global chief executive Cees’t Hart said, “Our business had another very volatile year with frequent changes in restrictions. In Asia, the situation is uncertain in a number of markets such as Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and also Malaysia due to the low level of vaccinations. In India, it’s a bit better. Infection rates are in decline. And there we see the off-trade more or less open to 90-95% and 70% in on-trade.” Beer sales in India grew in double digits in the quarter to June compared to the year-ago figure, but were still nearly half the sales in the pre-Covid corresponding period of 2019. However, Carlsberg’s India business grew 40% year-on-year in the quarter ended June. Similarly, Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest distiller after Diageo, said it expects some recovery in India in fiscal year 2022. “For this year, we expect a gradual recovery. India was up 9% and was very resilient given the environment, while the underlying consumer-driven trends are clearly there,” said the Chairman of Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard. The ICRIER report shows promise with India among the fastest growing markets for alcoholic beverages globally, with an estimated market size of USD52.5 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2020 and 2023. This indeed is music to the ears and we would like to hear from companies on how they are promoting ‘responsible drinking’.

AIDA races to meet blending 20% of petroleum products by 2025

After the Prime Minister’s call to blend 20% of blending of petroleum with ethanol from 2030 there is an urgent rush to ramp up the capacity and increase the type of feedstock required to boost production to meet the required amount of ethanol needed to blend up to 20% of ethanol. In an interview with Ambrosia V. Raina, Director General, AIDA outlines the roadmap to achieve this along with the newer distilleries planned in the next few years.

What is the current production capacity of ethanol in India?

The total ethanol production capacity is 473 crore litres that includes grain-based ethanol, molasses based and others sources. Alcohol production capacity out of molasses is 693 crore litres whereas grain based capacity is 258 crore litres. This production capacity is expected to increase further with nearly 15-20 new distilleries coming in the next few years with the help of the Indian Government. In order to boost the growth the govt. has provided financial assistance on interest subvention.

Can you tell us more on the new Distilleries that are upcoming in the next few years?

The new distilleries are grain based only with 15-20 new ones coming into the market and approximately 25-30 existing distilleries expanding their capacities. Also with the change in the guidelines you can now put up a new distillery with more ease. Earlier it would take longer time to get permissions and clearances. But now the Government has allowed all permissions, all guarantees up to the capacity of 200 KLPD for grain based and 100 KLPD for molasses based can be given by the State Governments. Since ethanol and high alcohol (above 95%) comes under the purview of the Central Government putting up an ethanol distillery doesn’t have any challenges unless liquor is produced.

Where are the new distilleries now being focussed in UP and Maharashtra or elsewhere also?

There is no grain distillery in the state of UP. Primarily it is in Punjab but now they are coming up. The grain is there. Other distilleries are resisting. UP will come over, Bihar will come over new one. Even Odisha has a new distillery.

Beside grain what other sources are being experimented on?

Apart from grain Maize and Rice are being experimented upon since these are considered as damaged food grains which are not edible for human beings. However, these are currently in short supply. We have introduced good rice also because you have to purchase it from Food Corporation of India (FCI). The basis of these purchases are on rates that are already determined/fixed based on the feedstock. For instance the rates are fixed at Rs. 20 per kg. or Rs. 2000 per quintal by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). If you purchase it from sugar cane juice the rate is Rs.62.65 per litre of ethanol. If it is molasses because sugar supply is in surplus it is Rs. 57.61. The rates for General Molasses is Rs.45.69 whereas damaged food grain that includes rice, maize, jowar, bajra etc are priced at Rs.51.55.

What are the benefits of manufacturing Ethanol?

The benefits of manufacturing ethanol is that there is no limit to the supply. The more you can supply the better it is. For instance if you can supply 1000 litres or 1 crore litres the government welcomes that. The rates are fixed for purchase by petroleum companies, which includes – Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil. Also your payments are assured to be given in 15 days, which has reduced from the earlier timeline of 30 days.

Will this short supply affect the liquor industry?

The ENA prices have also gone up with the availability at Rs.50-52 per litre from where you produce alcohol. The prices have already increased by more than 5%. ENA is Extra Neutral Alcohol which is used for the production of better quality of alcohol and normally not used in the production of country liquor. The total requirement of alcohol by the year 2025 is 1350 crore litres. Out of these for liquor and other purposes we need about 334 crore litres. For liquor and industrial purposes like chemicals etc. and the balance 1016 crore litres will be for ethanol. Out of the total estimated requirement of 1016 crore litres the sugar industry will give 684 crore litres and ethanol from grain will be 666 crore litres by 2025.

What are the challenges that distilleries face for increasing the targeted alcohol production?

The biggest challenge is to achieve the target of 20% by 2025 since originally that plan was to achieve it by 2030 which was upped to 2025. The only downside is that if we achieve these numbers then there might be a shortage of feedstock.

How much of this target can be achieved realistically?

We can achieve about 75% – 80% of the target. There won’t be any short supply for liquor production because the governments are strict. Nowadays’ the government is not giving molasses which is under State Governments. The moment molasses is produced they will make a reservation and allot it for the country liquor. Even if there is shortage of total supply I don’t see any difficulty for the liquor production because the State Governments are taking care of that thing.

Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Single Malt Whiskies crowned as the Best Whiskies of the 2021

The 2021 edition of the International Whisky Competition was held from May 12- May 16 in Colorado, USA where a professional tasting panel comprising of whisky, wine and beer connoisseurs came together to determine the top whiskies of 2021. The Ardbeg Uigadail emerged as the “Best Whisky of the Year”, while Glenmorangie Vintage 1997 claimed second position. Dr Bill Lumsden of The Glenmorangie Company won the distinguished “Master Distiller of the Year” title, as a testimony of his vast experience, consistency and mastery in the art of distilling and creating remarkable whiskies.

As six out of top 15 whiskies were awarded to different expressions of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie, it truly demonstrates the craftsmanship and deliciousness of these whiskies. The variants that clinched these top positions include Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Year Old, Glenmorangie Signet, Ardbeg An Oa and Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban that ranked 9th, 10th, 13th and 15th respectively.

Judged via blind tasting, each whisky was scored using a comprehensive 100-point scale system through an 8 minutes tasting session. The whiskies were rated on factors such as visual appeal, intensity and complexity, distinctiveness of aromas and flavours, and quality of finish, with three medals being awarded for each category. Thus, each win is unique and not duplicated with generic awards.

The noteworthy wins for Moët Hennessy at the 2021 International Whisky Competition establishes its brands’ expressions as favourites not only amongst the experts, but spirit aficionados and consumers across the world.

Allied Blenders & Distillers appoints Mr. Shekhar Ramamurthy as Executive Deputy Chairman

Allied Blenders & Distillers Private Limited recently announced the appointment of Shekhar Ramamurthy as the Executive Deputy Chairman of the company with effect from the 1st of July 2021. He replaces Nick Blasquez, who has left ABD Private Limited to pursue other professional interests. Mr. Kishore Chhabria, Chairman has expressed his gratitude to Nick Blasquez for his contributions and the transformation journey that he had guided during his tenure.

Shekhar Ramamurthy, has spent over three decades with the UB Group in various leadership roles, the last of which was as the Managing Director of United Breweries Limited. He is well recognised within the alcobev industry for his leadership skills, ability to identify opportunities and drive growth and value. As the country and the industry unlocks from the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, ABD is poised to continue its growth through building successful brands, winning with consumers and creating value for all stakeholders. Shekhar Ramamurthy will spearhead this journey.

Chivas Brothers appoints new Chief Executive

Dumbarton-based distiller Chivas Brothers has a new Chief Executive and Chairman. Chivas Brothers which is part of the Pernod Ricard drinks empire, has recently appointed Jean-Etienne Gourgues as its new chief. Mr Gourgues replaces Jean-Christophe Coutures, who left the company in July after three years in the role. Mr Gourgues was most recently managing director of Pernod Ricard China.

The company said in a statement: “Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, can confirm the appointment of Jean-Etienne Gourgues as chairman and CEO from July 1, 2021.

“Jean-Etienne joined Chivas Brothers from Pernod Ricard China, where he served as managing director. Previously, he was president and CEO of Pernod Ricard Japan, and he has also held senior positions at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët and Allied Domecq.“Jean-Etienne succeeded Jean-Christophe Coutures who will be returning to France after serving as Chivas Brothers Chairman and CEO for three years.“Jean-Etienne will be part of Pernod Ricard’s executive committee and will be based at Chivas Brothers London HQ, after relocating from Shanghai.”

Mr Coutures held senior roles with Pernod in Asia, Australia and Ireland before succeeding Laurent Lacassagne as chief executive of Chivas Brothers in February 2018. He arrived as Chivas was preparing to switch its Scottish bottling operation from Paisley to Dumbarton.

Radico Khaitan to launch 3 Premium Whiskies in the next two years

Liquor manufacturer Radico Khaitan’s performance has been exemplary in these difficult times, highlighted by record sales and earnings. With the expectations of continued earnings and growth, the company is on course to better its performance in these difficult times. The Chief Operating Officer of Radico Khaitan Limited, Mr. Amar Sinha gives an overview of the company’s performance in these Covid times.

Is Radico focusing on premium brown spirits for growth?

Amar Sinha (Sinha): Yes. Radico Khaitan offers a wide array of products – 15 organically-grown brands including 5 millionaire brands – hence, we have something for every age group and in each category. The company, while enhancing the products in the white spirit category, is also focusing on the premium brown spirits while identifying India-specific consumer preferences in the category. In fact, among our successful premium offerings in the brown spirits category, we have 8PM Premium Black Whisky which is a master’s selection for the true connoisseurs of fine taste. 8PM is the flagship brand of Radico Khaitan and 8 PM Premium Black Whisky is a notch above offering which reflects the true essence of quality drinking.

Another essential driver of Radico’s growth in the brown spirits category is Morpheus Brandy (only brandy in the premium and super premium segment) which commands over 65% of the market share in the country. In the rum category, 1965 Spirit of Victory has been doing phenomenally well in the premium rum segment. Our most recent offering, Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky, which was launched in the Indian market in February 2019 was rated amongst the top 5 world whiskies by “Whiskey Cask Magazine” US even before it was launched in the domestic market.

Which are the new products in brown spirits you are planning to launch?

Sinha: As a country, India has majorly been a brown spirits market. Though people are now open to experimenting more and showing an inclination towards white spirits, the brown spirits segment is continuing to dominate the world over. Of late, there has been a significant shift in people’s consumption pattern with many switching to more premium liquor because they have been mostly home-bound for over a year now which boosted savings to a large extent and that allowed them to move towards premiumisation. To cater to the consumer demands, Radico Khaitan is on course for the launch of more brands in the premium brown spirits space during FY2022 across categories. There are at least 3 Premium Whiskies in the brown spirits category that are currently on the drawing board which would be launched over the next 2 years. These are one segment above each other and with very high contributions in terms of price positioning. Radico has a history of launching at least 12 successful brands in the last decade and half.

What are the plans for 8PM this fiscal?

Sinha: RadicoKhaitan’s primary focus for the brand will be to take 8PM Premium Black Whisky pan India as it is currently available in 16 States. An extension of 8 PM Whisky – a flagship brand of Radico Khaitan – 8PM Premium Black Whisky successfully touched 1 million cases in March 2021, within just 2 years of its launch in the Indian retail market. This brand has been on the growth trajectory paved by its parent brand 8PM Whisky, which itself was a runaway success. It has been named the 5th Best Indian Whisky by the Spirits Business Brand Champion. We have introduced a pocket pack for 8PM Premium Black Whisky in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Telangana, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, which will soon be launched in other markets across the country. This is the first hipster pack in a glass bottle in this segment. 8PM Pocket pack is an innovative 90 ml pack size in look and feel and gives the feeling of a hip flask in glass bottle. The pack is launched to lure the consumer with its modern style and promote trial amongst new consumers.

In this digital age, what is your campaign strategy?

Sinha: While focusing heavily on brand expansion, we will also be launching campaigns with the brand ambassador Tiger Shroff to promote and celebrate the positioning of the brand. The Bollywood actor is extremely popular among the youth and is full of energy and vigour – traits that completely sync with the brand; hence we believe that the launch of the campaigns will further strengthen 8PM Premium Black’s positioning and take it to the next level. We are actively eyeing the digital medium for engaging with the brand loyalists and curating exciting digital campaigns across all social media platforms in order to enhance brand visibility.