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Festival spirit has the tills ringing

Liquor companies have every cause to celebrate as the consumers are happy after good news all around-the T20 victory, a vibrant economy and the Sensex high peaks, reports L Mishra.

business Updated: Oct 16, 2007 23:56 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Beverage alchohol companies are joining the party this festival season, especially with Dussehra and Diwali around the corner.

The setting seems perfect for loads of good times. The consumer is happy after good news all around — the T20 victory, a vibrant economy, the rupee’s appreciation and the Sensex scaling all-time high peaks.

These companies are introducing new brands — targeting first timers and veterans alike — with an eye on growing incomes of youngsters and the overall affluence of consumers. Price is clearly no longer a concern.

Wine and single malt scotch are the favourites. Leading the pack is the UB group that has introduced several world-renowned Scotch brands from the Whyte & Mackey (W&M) stable. It is also launching several imported Bouvet-Ladubay wine brands and a domestic wine Zinzi, in red and white variants, priced at around Rs 300.

W&M’s Isle of Jura and Dalmore single malt Scotch brands will launch during Dussehra. UB is also launching a W&M blended whiskey in three variants.

“The festive season gives us an opportunity to introduce new brands. We have nine top-of-the-line W&M offerings. Sales and consumption go up due to merrymaking and gifting during festivals,” said Vijay Rekhi, president, United Spirits, the UB Group flagship.

In addition, several brands of Bouvet-Ladubay sparkling white, rose, red wines and a still wine bottled in France have been launched. “Wine is a symbol of festivity and no party is complete without wine. Sales would grow now with the acceptability of wine as a social drink and its emergence as a preferred gift by corporates and hotels,” said Abhay Kewadkar, business head (Wine) and chief wine marker of the UB group.

Retailers said sales of spirits and wines go up by 25 per cent especially during Christmas.

Diageo is also unveiling a domestic wine brand later this month in the varieties of red, rose and white. Grover Vineyards has launched Sante in two varieties called Sante Chenin Blanc white wine and Sante Shiraz red wine priced at Rs 292 a bottle.

There is also a new beer for you. Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) has launched its corporate brand Baron’s Strong Brew beer in Maharashtra priced at Rs 70 a bottle. “Baron’s is of European heritage and carves a strong position in the premium international strong beer segment,” said Vivek Chhabra, director, South Asia, APB. “The Diwali leading to Christmas is the right time to grow a brand,” added Chhabra.

UB has also launched Bouvet-Ladubay wines in six liter bottles and W&M single malt scotch in the range of Rs 3,000 to Rs 30,000.