United Spirits Regard High-End Spirits to Counter Market Share Loss


Published Date : Oct 29, 2015

United Spirits Ltd in India is planning to scale down its roster of over 150 brands and concentrate on the fast growing high-end spirit market, with the aim to bolster its fortunes in a market that is largely dominated by cheap domestic names.

As commented by the chief executive of Britain’s Diageo plc, Anand Kripalu, the manufacturers of Johnny Walker whisky aspires to grow in the top-end spirits space in the bid to outpace the mass market in the next couple of years, with the rising demand for better quality spirit from a growing class of affluent young professionals.

United Spirits Ltd. Is aiming to concentrate its promotion and marketing efforts on the top 15 brands and have plans to either de-emphasize or consolidate the other brand in its portfolio.

In India, where alcohol was frowned upon until recently for cultural and religious reasons, is the hot destination for global drink makers. Multinational beverage makers such as Diageo and its closest rival Pernod Ricard SA are tapping emerging markets in the bid to offset the slow growth in the developed world.

Whisky-swigging India is currently Diageo’s second largest market in terms of sales. As further stated by the Chief executive of Diageo, awareness as well as affordability for premium brands collectively are reasons for demand for high-end spirits in India.

The executive further stated that the focus of the company is on big brands, which are perceived to be critical for the company and are slated to be big growth drivers. He further added that mere adding those brand to the company’s portfolio would require strategic investment.

However, in India the alcoholic beverage market is small as compared to other large economies such as the U.S. and China. In spite of this, drink manufactures are betting on a large young populace, fast urbanization, and fast-growing population of middle class citizens