Vijay Mallya’s vodka attack gets heady
Vijay Mallya’s USL is considering an expansion of its vodka offerings in the domestic market and plans to introduce the premium Vladivar brand, reports Gaurav Choudhury.Updated: Sep 02, 2007, 23:04 IST
Now get ready for some exquisite vodka shots. Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits Limited (USL) is considering an expansion of its vodka offerings in the domestic market and plans to introduce the premium Vladivar brand from the stable of recently acquired Whyte and Mackay.
USL plans to launch Vladivar, one of the world’s largest selling vodka brands, in India next year. Vladivar was originally made by the Greenall Whitley distillery, and the brand was sold in 1990 to Whyte and Mackay. United Spirits acquired Whyte & Mackay in May this year for $1.18 billion.
United Spirits, with the Romanov and the White Mischief brands, commands an estimated 75 per cent of the Indian market.
Company officials said that with the launch of Vladivar in the mid-price segment, United Spirits is looking at competing with the Diageo’s Smirnoff and Shark Tooth and Seagram’s Fuel.
The total size of the vodka market in India is estimated at around five million cases and it has recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 35-40 per cent over the last five years.
Debashish Shyam, AVP-Marketing at USL, said: “White Mischief is the largest-selling vodka in the country and dominates the regular-priced vodka market with more than 80 per cent market share. But there is also a need for us to expand in the premium and mid-priced segment.” In India, 90 per cent of the vodka currently sold in the market is regular vodka and remainder is premium vodka.
The company is also planning to launch flavoured vodka under its largest selling White Mischief brand. The company has signed on Bollywood star Zayed Khan as the brand ambassador for White Mischief.
USL is the spirits division of United Breweries (UB) with overall sales of over 60 million cases across several categories and brands.