Bacardi seeks to double whiskey capacity in India

Bacardi is looking to double its whiskey bottling capacity in India by linking with a bottling plant in northern India, a senior company executive said.

The Cuban rum maker, whose whiskey portfolio in India is made up of William Lawson and some versions of Dewar's, bottles them exclusively in his Nanjangud in Mysuru, which also produces and bottles its namesake rum

“The next plant will mainly bottle our whiskey brands, Dewar’s White Label and William Lawson. The plant will help us respond more quickly to the northern market in terms of logistics, ”said Sanjit Randhawa, managing director of Bacardi India. The facility is expected to start bottling Bacardi whiskey this month.

Dewar’s White Label and William Lawson are the best-selling brands for the company in India, registering volume sales of 46,000 boxes (9 liters each) and 59,000 boxes last year respectively, according to data from the market research firm International wine and spirits research (IWSR) Growth rates have been 110% and 62%, compared to 18 years, 15 years and 12 years of a Dewar, which are premium and imported and, therefore, adapt to consumers of niche.

India remains an essentially whiskey-drinking country, and sales are expected to touch 229 million boxes, or 65%, of total liquor sales of 355 million boxes this year. While whiskey made in India governs the chicken coop, Scotch whiskey is the next largest segment with 4.2 million sales boxes and Bacardi seeks to increase market share through its Scottish whiskey William Lawson. The market is strongly dominated by United Spirits ( USL ), Pernod Ricard and Allied Blenders (ABD).

Whiskey is still a relatively new segment for Bacardi in India. It was launched in 2017. The company gets about 90% of its income from rum. But whiskey is growing at a rapid pace, although from a small base, and an increasing number of millennials entering the legal drinking age seek to try more premium liquors instead of the cheaper ones. It would also help the company reduce its dependence on rum, whose growth rates have been slow for some time.

Bacardi, which also produces Bombay Sapphire gin and Gray Goose vodka, is the third largest international spirits company in India, after Diageo and Pernod Ricard. Reported a 22% growth in revenue last fiscal year to Rs 837 million rupees and expects a 15% growth this fiscal year.