Category Archives: news

Pernod Ricard posts encouraging results than expected

The world’s second biggest alcobev manufacturer, Pernod Ricard posted its results recently and they seemed more encouraging than expected. The Q1 FY21 marked and improvement versus the Q4 FY20. The results were encouraging thanks to partial on-trade reopening and continued brand resilience in off-trade as India continues to be a resilient market for the company.

The total sales for the first quarter of FY21 totaled €2,236 million, which included an organic decline of -6% due to off-trade channel remaining resilient in the USA and Europe. Although there was a partial on-trade reopening, the report suggests that the channel is still disrupted with Travel Retail showcasing significant decline.

Results in India

Closer to India, which is one of the key markets for the manufacturer, continues to be in a double-digit decline. The growth in India revenues from its India operations grew only 6% in the year ended March 2020 against 27% jump a year earlier. The company recorded gross sales of Rs 21,424 crore in India in the year-ended March. However it recorded a 24% jump in its net profit for the year at Rs 1,612 crore as it focused more on premium brands. This was more than double of its larger rival United Spirits’ profit of Rs 705 crore during the year. Currently, India accounts for 11% of the manufacturers global sales. The company that follows a July-June fiscal globally, said that the Indian business declined 11% in the year ended June 2020 with heavy impact due to the pandemic. Alexandre Ricard, Chairman, Pernod Ricard informed investors last month that the fact that the business fell only 11% in the FY20 ‘despite the very strict lockdown disrupting the fourth quarter’ showed India’s resilience as a market. “We consolidated our leadership position with our market share still above 45%, and in fact, still growing slightly,” he added.

Results by Geography

With the festive season in the offing the results were strong in markets like USA and China, with strong shipments auguring well for the company. There was good resilience in the markets of Europe as well thanks to Off-Trade and ‘staycation’ over the summer. There was also strong dynamism in the UK and Germany with France nearing stability. However the markets of Spain and Russia showed decline.

By category, Sales were driven by

International Brands declined by -10% with significant declines for Martell, Chivas and Ballantine’s, primarily due to the restrictions in Travel Retail. But Malibu and The Glenlivet displayed strong growth with Jameson showcasing resilience. Local Brands saw a decline of -6%, with decline of Seagram’s Indian whiskies. But there was double-digit growth of Kahlua, Passport, Ramazzotti and Wiser’s. Specialty Brands saw an increase of +30%, thanks in particular to Lillet, Malfy, Aberlour, Avion, Altos and Monkey 47. Wines registered a growth of +9%, driven by double-digit growth of Campo Viejo and Brancott Estate with Jacob’s Creek growing by +8%. The overall reported sales declined by -10% due to unfavourable FX impacts, mainly from US Dollar and emerging market currencies. The Q2 is expected to still be strongly impacted by Covid-19, but Sales to return to growth in H2. Alexandre Ricard added that for FY21, “we expect continued resilience of our business in an uncertain and disrupted environment. I would like to take this opportunity to praise our teams, whose engagement and performance are exemplary

in these very challenging times. We will continue to implement our strategy, in particular accelerating our digital transformation. We will tightly manage costs while maintaining the agility to reinvest to adjust to market opportunities.”

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.

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. 

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. 

Neeraj Kumar of Beam Suntory on the COVID Impact

Undoubtedly the global economies have been in a tizzy due to the ongoing pandemic situation. While the markets and businesses are starting to open slowly, the F&B industry hasn’t seen a more challenging situation. While converting their manufacturing facilities to produce hand sanitizers to help the government might have eased the burden temporarily, manufacturers are eagerly awaiting the good times to roll back.

In a quick interaction with Ambrosia, Neeraj Kumar, MD, Beam Suntory India commented on the how the ongoing pandemic impacted the industry and also the efforts that his company is making during this time with nearly 60 days retail lockdown for duty-free shops, bars, hotels and restaurants continuing to remain shut. “As a world leader in premium spirits, on-premise outlets play an important role in Beam Suntory’s business in India. In our commitment to support the F&B community, we partnered with NRAI to pledge support of INR 1 Crore to provide relief to the staff of member restaurants who have passionately supported the industry with their talent. We also rolled out the ‘learn and earn’ program through our global bartending engagement program, ‘The Blend’ which encouraged bartenders to utilize their time at home effectively by taking up online training modules spread across 50 sessions, with prizes for the participants.”

Despite the cases ramping up and India becoming one of the top 3 countries affected by the pandemic the government is making numerous efforts to revive the industry. And this move is welcomed by Kumar as he states ‘we support the Government’s decision to open e-commerce channels for online sales and home delivery of alcohol in some states, which has led to the much-needed growth in off-trade for the alcobev brands. We hope there is a continuous expansion of e-commerce channels as we move forward.’

As a company Beam Suntory though isn’t only focusing on the business, but also channeling their CSR to spread more awareness of social distancing and safety measures. “As social distancing continues to be the norm, we have also partnered with ISWAI to bring forth a program called ‘Safe Shield’ to educate retailers on safety measures as they open their shops. These include keeping a distance of 2 meters between two people, not having more than 5 people in the store at a given time and keeping hygiene as the top priority by sanitizing the area and salesmen wearing masks at all times,” adds Kumar.

It’s official, the ‘cocktail hour’ is back according to new research

More than half of Brits surveyed is back.

Lockdowns have pushed everyone’s social life to the backburner and patrons are looking to entertain themselves at home. In a survey conducted during the lockdown on how Brits were enjoying their drinks at home during a lockdown, more than half of those surveyed believed that ‘Cocktail Hour’ has made a comeback during this time.

Research states that more than half (53%) of Brits surveyed believe the cocktail hour has made a comeback in recent weeks, with 7.30 pm emerging as the time people are most likely to raise a glass with loved ones. While ‘cocktail hour’ was born in America, it reached the height of fashion in Britain in the 1920s. In fact, the first cocktail party in the UK is said to date back to 1924 and was reportedly thrown by war artist Christopher Nevinson.

But today, according to the findings from a Bacardi’s survey, the cocktail hour has made a virtual come back with as many as 43% of respondents attempting to perfect cocktails at home since the lockdown began. Almost a third (31%) of participants have enjoyed virtual drinks parties with friends as a way of keeping in touch and one in five (21%) have even dressed up for their virtual drinks occasion. Close to 29% of respondents have been dusting off specialist cocktail glasses and 27% are going all out by making use of a shaker ahead of virtual get-togethers.

What’s more, the contemporary cocktail hour is here to stay, with over a quarter of those surveyed (27%) claiming they will continue hosting virtual cocktail hours with friends and family beyond the lockdown. Nearly a third (32%) of these budding mixologists claim they were inspired to try their hand at a cocktail because they are a more interesting alternative to wine and beer.

According to the survey, the Mojito (made with rum, sugar and zesty lime) is the most popular make-at-home cocktail. The classic Pina Colada, made with coconut cream, rum and pineapple came second, with the Californian-born Margarita coming in third place. While the Mojito proves the number one serve, vodka is the spirit of choice for 35% of those surveyed when making cocktails at home, closely followed by gin (33%) and rum (23%).

Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents have shared a virtual toast over a non-alcoholic or low alcohol cocktail according to the report, with Virgin Pina Coladas, Virgin Mojitos and Virgin Marys topping the poll of favourite non-alcoholic cocktails. Millennials prove the most mindful drinkers as data shows 41% of consumers between the age of 25-34 years surveyed have raised a low alcohol or non-alcoholic cocktail during virtual drinks.

This Father’s Day, Gift Your Main Man The Finest Single Malt from Islay’s Oldest Distillery, Bowmore

This Father’s Day, let Bowmore Aged 12 Years Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, from Beam Suntory, be a worthy companion to the epitome of class and quiet sophistication synonymous with every father. Bowmore, Islay’s oldest distillery, is home to the world’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse, The No. 1 Vaults. Crafted to perfection in this legendary warehouse for over 240 years, the Bowmore’s 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a delicate blend of citrus notes and mellow honey, teasing the brand’s trademark peat smoke notes all the way. The culmination of this symphony of flavours leads to a titillating experience of the senses – one truly worthy of the Beam Suntory hallmark. The 12-Year-Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been awarded a Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018 and International Spirits Challenge 2017, reflecting the essence of Bowmore.

Just as the trickling sands of time refines a father into the best version of himself, so is the case with this offering. Promising to be just the reminder of indulgence every father deserves on his special day, Bowmore Aged 12-Years shines through to be the perfect gift for your main man.

Bowmore Aged 12 Years Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available across all major cities including Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andaman, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam, Sikkim and West Bengal, and ranges from ? 3,200 to ? 7,500.

The best way to consume the Single Malt Scotch Whisky is as a Perfect Serve – add 30 ml of Bowmore Aged 12 Years, into an old fashioned glass, topped off with a dash of water. Bowmore Aged 12 Years Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is to be had in a manner that opens up its aromas, displays the complex flavours and notes.

Rémy Cointreau provides free accredited online training for hospitality workers.

Rémy Cointreau has partnered with Flow Hospitality Training to offer accredited training to hospitality workers at no cost. “The On-Trade are critical to our industry and during this uncertain time Rémy Cointreau wants to give something back to the men and women around the world who bring our brands to consumers,” said Richard Lambert, Global On-Trade Director at Rémy Cointreau.

The company’s move comes from recognising the unprecedented difficulties currently faced by the hospitality industry around the world. With many professionals either furloughed or currently unemployed and looking for an opportunity to enhance their skill set and advance their hospitality careers once trade reopens in their respective countries.

The members of the hospitality industry are invited to register for a wide selection of courses designed to expand their knowledge and practical understanding of various elements of the business; ranging from bartending to food, health and safety, to housekeeping, disability awareness, equality and diversity, customer service to wine and more intangible skills such as management, an introduction to leadership and effective team management.

“It’s encouraging to see a multi-national company like Rémy Cointreau giving back to the industry that supports it in such a meaningful way. We are delighted to partner with them to strengthen the On-Trade community,” added David Wither, Flow Hospitality Training Co-Founder.

CELEBRATE THE LE-GIN-DARY SPIRIT WITH ROKU GIN

There are special days for all things dear to us… And gin, the fashionable drink, is definitely one among them. In recent years, there is a strong trend among urban Indians to explore and also opt for gin as their spirit of choice owing to its refreshing appeal and exclusive botanical flavours, especially in cocktails and at brunches. The second Saturday of June, every year, is celebrated across the globe as World Gin Day.

In December 2019, Beam Suntory, the global premium spirits company, brought the flavourful Japan masterpiece – Roku® Gin to India with the launch of The House of Suntory portfolio. True to its Japanese craftsmanship, Roku alludes to the impeccable flavors and authenticity of the region. The unique blend artfully balances six unique Japanese botanicals – Sakura Flower or Yae-sakura and Sakuna Leaf or Oshima-sakura, which add the floral hints, Sencha Tea and Gyokoru Tea, for the full-bodied aroma, Sansho pepper or Bu-do Sansho, for the spicy notes, and Yuzu Peel, for the sweet citrus fruitiness.

With World Gin Day on 13th June, gin enthusiasts can look forward to exploring exciting new ways to enjoy this spirit that has conquered the love of beginners and aficionados alike. To celebrate the occasion, Beam Suntory brings to you a collection of fine Roku cocktails to be savoured within the comfort of your home:

ROKU TONIC – Roku gin, Tonic water and 6 strands of ginger

· Ingredients:
o 30 ml Roku
o 120 ml Tonic

· Garnish:
o Ginger sticks, as per your preference

· Method:
o Add all ingredients and build. Serve over cubed ice in a highball glass. Garnish with ginger slices.

ROKU SONIC – Roku Gin, Tonic Water, Soda Water, Lime

· Ingredients:

o 30 ml Roku
o 60 ml Tonic Water
o 60 ml Soda Water

· Garnish:
o Lime Garnish, as per your preference

· Method:
o Add ice to a highball glass and stir to chill glass. Add Roku and stir to chill the gin. Top with tonic.

ROKU SOUR – Roku Gin, Matcha Tea, Egg White, Yuzu Wheel

· Ingredients:
o 60 ml Roku
o 10 ml Matcha Tea
o 1 Egg White

· Garnish:
o Yuzu Wheel

· Method:

o Add egg whites to the shaker and shake to aerate. Add Roku and Matcha tea and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a Yuzu wheel.

ROKU NEGRONI – Roku Gin, Umeshu, Campari, Orange Zest

· Ingredients:
o 30 ml Roku
o 15 ml Umeshu
o 15 ml Campari

· Garnish:
o Orange Zest, as per your preference

· Method:
o Add all ingredients and build. Serve over a large cube of ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with orange zest.