Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Edrington Group to launch more whisky brands in India

Unperturbed by the economic slowdown, the Edrington Group, maker Famous Grouse whisky, is planning to launch more brands in India and step up promotional campaigns, a senior official said Tuesday.

"We will be launching the Snow Grouse and Black Grouse in the coming fiscal, both priced tentatively around Rs.1,700," group area director (Southeast Asia, Africa and Indian subcontinent) Geoff Kirk told IANS.

Explaining the company's decision to go ahead with the investment plans despite the slowdown, Kirk said India was still a "growing market".

"There is a slowdown undoubtedly, but it has resulted in lower growth rates and not a reversal of growth. The Indian market might not grow at 25 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) as it did over the past four-five years, but it will still be a growing market," he said.

Famous Grouse hopes to capture a sizeable chunk of the estimated 1.2-million-case Indian market.

"We will launch our premium single malt whisky brands - Macallan and Highland Park - priced over Rs.3,500, soon," Kirk added.

Most imported liquor labels attract central and state excise levies to the tune of almost 300 percent of the cost of a bottle.

Said Gerry O'Donnell, director of Famous Grouse: "We are talking to the federal and state governments to rationalise the taxes and are hopeful in persuading them to do so like we did in China. It's ultimately going to be beneficial to the Indian consumer."

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