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William Grant continues to grow with a positive momentum

With an evolving Indian consumer and alcobev market, William Grant & Sons has one of the most enviable portfolios in the industry. From award winning whiskies to popular gins, the company has been enjoying a healthy growth for the past few years. Sachin Mehta, Country Director, William Grant & Sons spoke to Bhavya Desai about the Indian market and the future roadmap for the company. Excerpts:

The overall business has been good for William Grants & Sons (WGS). It’s been growing at a healthy pace informs Sachin Mehta, the Country Director of WGS. The past 3–4-years have been particularly positive as Indian consumers are seeking and appreciating more premium and high-quality and prestigious products. “Our portfolio allows for a great fit to this trend of growing premium and luxury consumption growth in India,” he adds.

And if this trend is anything to go by then the future surely looks bright, with the Indian consumer looking towards more premiumisation, especially since WGS’ portfolio includes some of the most popular brands on the global stage. This includes brands like Grant’s Scotch Whisky, Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Hendrick’s Gin, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky and The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Sachin is also delighted to see brands like Hendrick’s, which has led, created and established the premium gin category, on the other hand, Monkey Shoulder has trended very well with its unique premium offering for the young and aware consumer. “We are blessed that our brands and quality liquid is loved by consumers here.”

Despite the popularity and the evolving pallet of the Indian consumer, WGS has no plans of creating specific products for the Indian pallet, not for the near future at least. “Our products have found a good preference to the Indian consumer’s pallet. The Indian consumers now have an evolved preference in line with the most developed in the world. At William Grant & Sons, we are committed to quality premium offerings to consumers and our current portfolio fits well to the evolving preferences of consumers.”

What’s interesting is that despite have a more premium portfolio, WGS has been successfully targetting the more affluent consumer, and the strategy is simple, with the Indian consumer evolving and seeking premiumisation across categories, from watches to cars to high-end spirits etc. – their brands cater to this growing demand for luxury products with their quality liquid.

Combine that with special liquids like the limited-edition releases and aged expressions, offered to collectors and explorers, better availability, an increasingly aware premium consumer and the retail experience have been key drivers in the recent past.

At the company’s UP bottling plant, the company bottles the two variants of Grant’s currently in India – Grant’s Triple Wood and Grant’s Distinction, in the blended scotch whisky category. Overall Grant’s continues to grow with a positive momentum with a dynamic play between the variants depending on the RTM of the state. “We are committed to continue to offer more variants to our consumer on Grants in the future.”

Undoubtedly, India is an important market for WGS not only because it’s growing, but also from the economic front and consumers preferences, tastes and premiumisation. India is now an important part of the global plans across categories and brands. “For example, we recently introduced the Grand Series, with Glenfiddich 21-year-old “Gran Reserve” and Glenfiddich 26-year-old “Grande Couronne”, Glenfiddich 29-Year-Old “Grand Yozakura” and the Time series with Glenfiddich 30-Year-Old – some of them limited editions and some of them rare and unique variants.”

Similarly, there are additional variants being introduced on The Balvenie Range as well. While many of these are still limited and allocated quantities – such variants now being offered to India reflects their commitment and focus on India as a market.

“We have also introduced Smokey Monkey, a new variant of Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky which was highly appreciated for its Smokey taste amongst our consumers. Similarly, Hendrick’s brings its limited-edition variants from the “Cabinet of Curiosity” to explore some curious offerings in India. Starting with Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice in 2021, followed by Hendrick’s Lunar, Hendrick’s Neptunia, and, most recently, Hendrick’s Flora Adora.”