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ICONiQ White Whisky from Allied Blenders & Distiller’s records 1500 % growth, Millionaires Club hails its achievement

  • ICONiQ fastest growing brand in the world
  • Flagship brand Officer’s Choice is ranked 6th

No whisky brand in the world has registered such phenomenal growth as that of ICONiQ White Whisky from the house of Allied Blenders & Distillers Ltd. (ABDL), one of India’s largest domestic alcobev company. This spectacular growth has been recorded for eternity by Drinks International in its ‘The Millionaires Club 2024’. ICONiQ White achieved a runaway growth of 1500% and the nearest contender Aznauri brandy from Global Beverage Trade Company was at 83.3%.

Since its launch in India in September 2022, ICONiQ White has done exceedingly well, having reached a sales figure of 2 million cases of 9 litres each in March 2024, despite current availability in 70% of the operational segment.

Within the top 30 brands that feature in the 2023 fastest growing list, two clear trends have emerged, Drinks International said. The first is India. A third of the brands on the list are from the south Asian sub-continent including 2023’s fastest grower. Iconiq White Whisky is ranked first. Launched by the Mumbai-based ABDL in 2022 it had sold over 1.6 million cases, a year later.

The second trend, it said, are the brands based in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia that have been directly impacted by the war within the region. Of these 10 brands (seven of which are Russian) only the three largest, Nemiroff and the Roust-owned Green Mark and Talka, are yet to surpass the volumes they were operating at before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For the rest of the brands, the conditions brought on by the war – namely international brands pulling products from Russia and Belarus or Ukrainian consumers purchasing domestic brands to support Ukrainian businesses – have driven sales.

Millionaires Club said in India “It’s not just new whisky brands that are performing well, Diageo and United Spirits’ established giant Royal Challenge saw more than 20% growth in 2023. But while India has an appetite for whisky – there are five Indian whisky brands on this list – growth isn’t just saved for the category. The three brandies, one vodka, and one rum from the country show that spirits trends are diverse.”

ICONiQ White whisky is a premium blend of imported Scotch malts and finest Indian grain spirits, aged in bourbon oak casks. When the brand hit the 2 million cases, the Managing Director of ABDL India, Alok Gupta had then said, “Delighted to see our strategic focus on premiumization translate to success with ICONiQ White Whisky against a strong lineup of entrenched multinational brands. It strengthens our resolve to transition to super-premium segments.”

Officer’s Choice Ranked 6th

ABDL flagship brand – Officer’s Choice Whisky, has been ranked 6th in the Millionaire Club ranking, though it has had a decline of -6 per cent in growth. The company exported its products to 14 international markets.

Each year the Millionaires’ Club gives a snapshot of the state of the industry. It said for 2023, almost half of the brands featured saw their volumes decline, and that’s a figure that rises to almost 60% among the 17 brands that sold more than 10 million cases. Europe and North America was hit badly. Even Korean soju giant Jinro which tops the list (having broken the historic 100-million case barrier)  hasn’t been immune to downturn.

Volume has dropped for more brands than it has risen, but India has established itself as the big attraction when it comes to spirits, it said.