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Thai Bev launches spirits to Indian market

One of southeast Asia’s largest drinks companies has announced its entry onto the Indian market with the launch of a range of premium single malts and gins.

Several Scotch whiskies including Old Pulteney, Balblair and Speyburn, will be introduced to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigargh and Bengaluru while Scottish gin, Caorunn will launch in Delhi and Mumbai, reported LiveMint, a India-based business newspaper.

The global arm of Thai Beverage, International Beverage Holdings Ltd (IBHL) has partnered with Dhall Beverage in New Delhi for the marketing and distribution rights for the products after it had been attempting to make a push on the India market for five years.

“The past few years have seen a real acceleration and taste for luxury imported goods — especially in the top metros,” said Malcolm Leask, IBHL’s vice president of international sales.

While India has no shortage of its own India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands, Leask said there was a gap in the premium-end of the market, with high-end whisky only accounting for 4 per cent of sales in the country.

The bottles will retail from Rs4,500 (US$70) for gin to Rs6,700 (US$105) for a Balbair single malt.

Other global drinks companies are have tapped into India’s potential – Diageo launched limited editions of Johnnie Walker Blue Label a few years ago, Pernod Ricard’s subsidiary in India has extended its borrowing limit and William Grant plans to launch more of its brands such as Monkey Shoulder to the unsuspecting India market.

Leask went on to say that India’s “growing affluence and international population” has been key in the decision to enter India and build up its premium-end liquor market.

“There is less depth in the super-premium liquor market, while the domestic beer market is well supplied in this country,” he added.


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