Indian Whisky Brand Champions 2014

18th June, 2014 by admin

INDIAN WHISKY BRAND CHAMPION 2014: OFFICER’S CHOICE

Officer's Choice has been named Indian Whisky Brand Champion 2014

Officer’s Choice has been named Indian Whisky Brand Champion 2014

There’s been some jostling taking place on the Indian whisky leader board the last four years, with both United Spirits’ McDowell’s No.1 Reserve and Allied Blenders & Distillers’ (ABD) Officer’s Choice (or OC as it’s fondly called) taking it in turns every 12 months to snatch back the title from the other.

There have only ever been a few hundred thousand cases in it – which in Indian whisky terms is nothing – and again Officer’s Choice has stolen back the top spot for the second time, by just 120,000 cases. Looking at the figures it would be perfectly reasonable to expect United Spirits’ flagship to regain its position next year, but ABD is putting up a fight.

OC’s frankly staggering 31% growth in 2013 – an increase of 5.7 million cases – can be attributed in part to ABD’s strategy to reduce dependency on the brand (which generates around 80% of the group’s sales), by launching two new “semi-premium” extensions: Officer’s Choice Blue in 2012, and the more recent Officer’s Choice Black, which was introduced in January this year.

Both are blends of Indian grain whisky and Scottish vatted malts and are designed to appeal to India’s growing middle class, with Black seen as a direct competitor to Pernod Ricard’s Royal Stag.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our other Brand Champions

With Officer’s Choice Blue alone selling over 3m cases in the group’s financial year to March 2014, coupled with the introduction of a 5% price increase, ABD is confident it will see a 20% rise in sales next year, particularly with the launch of the brand in the US – initially in New York and New Jersey – earlier this year. Although ABD exports OC to 18 countries, CEO Deepak Roy says he is “confident that Officer’s Choice whisky will capitalise on its strengths of a quality blend and trust to emerge as a brand of choice for whisky consumers in the US market”.

However, its ability to cling onto the top spot will depend on when Diageo looks to raise prices at United Spirits, as any increase could impact McDowell’s 21% volume gains.

Of course the future of the entire Indian whisky market hangs in the balance if the country’s new parliament votes to reduce its 150% import tariff for Scotch. An influx of aspirational western brands to entice the young and wealthy could very well impact volumes, at least in the short term.

INDIAN WHISKY
BRAND OWNER 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % +/-
Officer’s Choice Allied Blenders 11.1 11.6 16.5 18.1 23.8 31%
McDowell’s No.1 Reserve United Spirits 13.5 14.3 16.0 19.4 23.6 22%
Royal Stag Pernod Ricard 8.4 10.3 12.4 13.9 14.7 6%
Bagpiper United Spirits 16.2 16.3 15.9 14.0 11.6 -17%
Old Tavern United Spirits 6.8 9.0 11.0 11.6 11.5 -1%
Imperial Blue Pernod Ricard 4.8 6.1 7.1 8.8 10.9 24%
Original Choice John Distilleries 10.2 10.9 10.7 10.9 10.0 -8%
Hayward’s Fine United Spirits 4.0 4.6 6.1 7.0 9.1 30%
8PM Radico Khaitan 3.6 3.9 4.3 4.8 4.7 -2%
Blenders Pride Pernod Ricard 2.3 2.8 3.4 4.0 4.2 5%
Director’s Special United Spirits 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.3 4.0 -6%
McDowell’s Green Label United Spirits 1.9 2.5 2.9 3.2 2.7 -16%
Director’s Special Black United Spirits 2.0 2.8 2.9 2.8 2.7 -5%
Gold Riband United Spirits 2.6 2.2 3.0 3.4 2.2 -35%
Royal Challenge United Spirits 1.2 1.1 1.3 1.7 2.1 24%
Signature Rare Aged Whisky United Spirits 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.8 1.8 3%
Men’s Club Whisky United Spirits 0.5 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.3 8%

 

SEE OTHER CATEGORIES
GIN COGNAC / BRANDY LIQUEURS
SCOTCH WHISKY WORLD WHISKIES RUM
TEQUILA VODKA INDIAN WHISKY
SPECIALITY SPIRITS

 

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