Brandy Brand Champion 2019: Officer’s Choice Brandy

17th June, 2019 by admin
Officer's Choice Brandy recorded a 14% increase in sales last year

Officer’s Choice Brandy recorded a 14% increase in sales last year

As a craft renaissance sweeps the brandy category, the big players have been seemingly left in the dust. Five of the eight million-­case brandy brands identified in this report experienced declines in 2018 as they struggled to remain relevant in a rapidly changing landscape.

At a press briefing this year, Mark Meek, CEO of the IWSR, said high-­end brandy was a “category to watch”, demonstrating potential to take market share from its famous sub­ division: Cognac. As consumer interest in local products with provenance and terroir continues to grow, a number of microdistilleries are experimenting with brandy, using local grape varieties and various cask types. A number of the traditional French producers that are not yet selling 1m cases, such as St-Rémy and Bardinet, are also upping their games when it comes to targeting new drinkers.

While there is growing excitement about the brandy category, growth is seemingly restricted at the top end, and the high­-volume mainstream brands are fighting to regain market share. What’s more, most of the world’s best­-selling brandies are ‘local’ spirits made in India, where consumers are increasingly converting to international brands. India’s Officer’s Choice Brandy, this year’s Brandy Brand Champion, may not have reached its 2016 heights of 1.19m cases, but the brand did manage to bounce back from 2017’s decline to record sales of 1.14m cases – a 14% increase. The previous drop in sales was the result of “supply constraints” in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, but a positive performance in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala bolstered results in 2018.

According to Ahmed Rahimtoola, head of marketing at brand owner Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), nearly 95% of the local brandy category’s sales are registered in India’s four southern states. But, he adds: “Each of these four states are completely different from each other in terms of culture, language and, more importantly, drinking behaviour. It is challenging to [target] consumers in the same price segment in these four states with the same brand. However, we have done so with Officer’s Choice Brandy in the regular brandy segment.”

ABD will continue to build the brand through a series of consumer­ focused activations in the coming year.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Brandy (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 %+/-
Emperador Alliance Global Group 33.0 30.5 28.0 27.1 25.3 -6.6%
Dreher Gruppo Campari 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.1 -7.5%
Old Admiral Brandy Radico Khaitan 3.5 3.3 3.5 3.1 3.0 -3.2%
McDowell’s No.1 Brandy United Spirits 3.5 3.3 3.6 1.7 1.4 -16.3%
Torres Brandy Torres 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.4 1.3 -0.7%
Old Kenigsberg Alliance 1892 Brandy Factory 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 0.8%
Officer’s Choice Brandy Allied Blenders & Distillers 0.7 1.1 1.2 1.0 1.1 14.0%
Christian Brothers Heaven Hill Brands 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 2.4%

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