Tuesday, May 01, 2012: 11:49:33 AM

Retail Trend

Alcohol retail attaining new highs

Kingfisher achieves historic milestone as other alcohol brands conquer new grounds

In spite of the astronomical rise in the prices of alcohol across India, the demand for the sinful bottle sees no respite. Beer brands from across the globe are entering the market and domestic players are gaining new grounds in the alcohol retail space every single day. While the consumer may be rueing over the fact that the Old Monk bottle has crossed the Rs 250 mark, retailers seem to be intoxicated by the size and potential of the Indian alcohol retail market.

 
Beer giant Kingfisher recently celebrated the sale of 100 million cases for the financial year 2011-12. The historic milestone makes it evident that the UB owned beer brand is by far the most popular and successful brand in the market.
 
According to Kalyan Ganguly, managing director of United Breweries Ltd, “Brand Kingfisher is today considered an icon of a new, vibrant and emerging India. This magnificent feat is the result of the unwavering loyalty of our consumers, the unflinching support of our customers and the hard work of our team members. We thank them for realising our dreams and for pushing the boundaries of achievement. We look forward to even bigger achievements in the future.”
 
The success of the Kingfisher brand has also been a major factor behind the phenomenal market share of the UB Group that stands at more than 50% today. The company has also seen phenomenal success in several other brands belonging to various other liquor categories. In the beer segment, the Kingfisher Strong and Kingfisher Premium have been the most dominant brands while the new launches such as Kingfisher Blue and Kingfisher Ultra are gradually picking up in the market.
 
Making global footprints
 
While the UB Group celebrates its historic sales figures, another major player finds success in foreign soils. Tilaknagar Industries (TI) unveiled a single malt scotch whisky recently in London. The super premium scotch called Seven Islands Vintage has been a much awaited release from the company that already boasts of more than 40 successful brands in the domestic and international market.
 
Speaking about the development, Amit Dahanukar, CMD of Tilaknagar Industry explained that a lot of hard work and attention to detail has gone behind the creation of the new Scotch whisky. He also said that the brand constantly endeavoured to enhance their brand portfolio and present its consumers with a quality piece of art. He added that the new product has been created keeping in mind the heritage and quality that is associated with the brand.
 
The company has also revealed that it sees massive potential in the premium liquor category and is likely to stay focussed on the segment. Mr Dahanukar explained that it would also look to leverage its expertise and popularity in the Scotch whisky segment to tap the massive potential of the domestic as well as international market.
 
While these players celebrate their new milestones, the average Indian consumer may find the recent hikes in alcohol prices a major dampener. As the summer gets more intense, the costlier beer bottle is likely to burn a deeper hole into the pocket.
 
Tias Chakraborty
 

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