Brown Forman: Inflation hasn’t hit imported spirits segment, investing in brand building, says Brown-Forman

An official at American Spirits major Brown-Forman, maker of several popular brands including Jack Daniels, said the premium spirits segment has not been impacted by high inflation, while product policy changes in some states have improved affordability. The company is seeing a boom in the on-trade segment with a rapid recovery post pandemic and a “massive change” in upgrading and modernization of retail stores in several cities including Tier 2, which bodes well for premium spirits as well. Siddharth Wadia – General Manager – India, Middle East and North Africa (IMENA), Brown Forman.

India is a “strategic emerging market” for Brown-Forman, where it is consolidating its presence in Tier II cities and actively investing in brand building and marketing initiatives through increased retail presence.

Brown-Forman, which recently launched RTD (Ready to Drink) offerings and a few with other variants, plans to bring more innovation-based products to the Indian market. Furthermore, the official Jack Daniels products have received an encouraging response here, he added.

“We continue to evaluate innovation opportunities in RTD, flavored whiskeys as well as in the overall premium spirits category,” he said.

“In the premium spirit segment, we are not seeing any impact on discretionary spending. From what we have seen so far, inflation has not really impacted the premium-end of the elbow-wave segment and hence it is experiencing higher growth rates. continues to do.”

The company believes that despite this inflation, consumers will continue to enjoy their aspirational or preferred beverage as it is witnessing a fundamental shift towards premium spirits in some markets.

See also  How Small Businesses Can Build Long-Term Customer Relationships

“Not to say that inflation isn’t hurting, but we think the net result of that inflation is still not as impressive on the imported spirits segment,” Wadia said.

The on-trade segment is witnessing a boom with a faster-than-expected recovery after the pandemic. There is no shortage of travel in what is happening and this is a “positive sign”.

“Secondly, from a long-term perspective, as a result of the pandemic the home consumption reservation will continue to decrease as it has opened up the comfort around alcohol consumption while at home,” he added.

Talking about the trends in the Indian market, Wadia said that consumers here are not only upgrading to international spirits, but also looking for new whiskeys and brands.

“Millennials are fully engaged in the latest trends and brands across the globe. And with rising aspirations, disposable income and exposure to global brands, I believe they are more likely to discover new things and different whiskeys from around the world. are more open to experiment and try,” he added.

On online sale and distribution of liquor here in some states, Wadia said the channel is still very small but “we believe it certainly holds promise for the future of our category”.

“Some states have been progressive and have allowed e-commerce and online aggregators to deliver alcohol to consumers. This enhances reach and reach, apart from allowing consumers to shop in a safe and convenient environment,” he said.

It competes with brands like Jack Daniels, Jim Beam of Beam Suntory and Royal Challenge American Pride Bourbon Whiskey, recently launched by Diageo through its Indian subsidiary United Spirits Ltd.

See also  Prestige Brands: Fiscal Q1 Earnings Snapshot

“We see competition as a positive development and welcome it. Given the fact that we have a legacy culture of drinking heavily Scotch, with more brands coming into the field of American whiskey, not just American Whiskey drives awareness but also helps consumers get noticed. There are many brands playing in this category that continue to drive the prominence of this segment,” said Wadia.

About Jack Daniels’ merchandising business, Wadia said that it needs more encouragement and has launched its online store in India in association with its licensee.

“The merchandise helps us leverage the powerful equity of our globally coveted Jack Daniel’s trademark by creating additional revenue streams and connecting deeper with our consumers. And the response has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to expanding it.” Let’s continue to focus,” he said. Told.

Globally, officially licensed Jack Daniels merchandise is a huge hit among consumers. He stated that Jack Daniel’s T-shirts are the second best-selling item worldwide, Jack Daniel’s vintage No. 7 whiskey and Jack Daniel’s licensed products are sold in six continents and over 20,000 retailers worldwide .