Singleton ‘can deliver’ on Diageo’s 1m case ambitionBy Amy Hopkins
The Singleton “has all the elements” to become the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch whisky following “phenomenal” growth, according to Diageo’s category head.
Speaking to The Spirits Business, Cristina Diezhandino, global category director for Scotch and managing director of Reserve, said The Singleton has the best potential to become the group’s first high volume single malt.
In 2015, Diageo announced the global launch of The Singleton’s three expressions – Glen Ord, Dufftown and Glendullan – and at the same time expressed an ambition to see the brand become the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch.
Diageo is the world’s largest Scotch whisky producer and owns the world’s best-selling Scotch brand – Johnnie Walker.
However, its does not have a foothold in the ranks of million-case-selling single malts, which includes William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich and Pernod Ricard’s The Glenlivet. The Macallan has also suggested it is nearing the milestone sales mark.
“[The Singleton] has performed very well, and its growth rate has been phenomenal,” said Diezhandino. “It’s more attainable than other single malts and allows you to graduate through the category. The Singleton has all the elements to deliver on our ambition.”
The Glen Ord distillery was one of the first areas of Diageo’s business to benefit from the group’s £1 billion investment in Scotch whisky, first announced in 2012. The site subsequently doubled production to meet growing demand for The Singleton.
The investment was also used to expand the Teaninich and Clynelish distilleries, and also refurbish Diageo’s Leven bottling hall. According to Diezhandino, the programmes are now “really delivering on this investment”.
Diezhandino, who has led Diageo’s Reserve team since 2016, took on the additional title of global category director for Scotch last year.
Integral to her approach of managing both sides of the business will be to bring the divisions closer together in terms of how they operate.
She said: “More and more I am trying to think about the businesses in a holistic way, asking how we can make the divisions stronger by playing them together, while being careful to nurture the specificities that are pertinent to one part of the portfolio or the other.”
Diezhandino’s full interview is available to view in the June 2018 edition of The Spirits Business magazine, out now.