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Bacardi to acquire sub premium Whisky brands in India?

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Bacardi – is planning to acquire mid-segment brands in India.

“We will acquire brands, especially in the whisky segment, that will fit into our premium market strategy,” said Mahesh Madhavan, president and chief executive of Bacardi-Martini India Ltd.

The company, which has a considerable share in the metros, will expand its distribution network to enter the tier II and tier III cities.

Most of Bacardi’s global products will also be launched in India in the next 1-2 years.

“The company’s priority segments will be the existing white spirits and Scotch whisky in the niche and the semi-premium segments that have potential in the long term,” he said.

Bacardi, which entered the domestic market with its premium Carta Blanca white rum a decade ago, expects to introduce its gold rum series by year-end, Madhavan said.

“We have already set up a good distribution network in the country and the next thing that we are keen on is to expand the brand portfolio here,” he said.

The company has one distillery at Nanjangode near Mysore and a packaging unit in Goa. It plans to set up bottling plants in north India and the Northeast.

Bacardi Martini is targeting the small cities as they constitute around 70 per cent of the liquor sales in India.

“At present, our sales across these brands are growing 12-13 per cent a year, and we hope this growth will continue as the potential in the domestic market is huge,” Madhavan said.

“The Indian spirits market will see a key transformation in drinking culture and there will be a major shift to imported premium brands,” he said.

Around 2.4 million cases are sold annually in the premium segment, accounting for less than 2 per cent of the country’s 144 million-cases-a-year liquor market.

One case comprises 12 bottles of 750ml each.

India’s spirits market is estimated to be worth $6 billion, or Rs 28,000 crore, led by Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits and United Breweries, followed Delhi-based Radico Khaitan Ltd and the local units of Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

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Monday, September 25, 10:01 am

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