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Bacardi uncorks growth plan

Calcutta, Dec. 18: Bacardi Martini India Ltd is planning to double its business by the end of the next fiscal. The company is betting on its imported white spirits range to drive its growth.

Bacardi Martini, a 76 per cent subsidiary of Bermuda-based Bacardi, has reported a compounded annual growth rate of 20 per cent.

It expects the rate to touch 40 per cent by the end of the next fiscal.

Besides its Martini range, to be launched in the country, and rums, the company has the Bombay Sapphire gin and the Grey Goose premium vodka in its fold.

It will invest a substantial amount in promoting its vodka and martini brands in the country.

“We will do a market study on the consumption of speciality brands of Bacardi Martini India. We want to expand the range of our imported brands in the country. We want to concentrate on the white spirits market,” said president and CEO Mahesh Madhavan.

He said premium brands were yet to gain firm footing in the country, and there was great potential for growth in the premium segment.

Bacardi also expects its vermouth brands Bianco and Rosso to do well in the Indian cocktail circuit. Vermouth is red or white wine flavoured with herbs.

Bacardi had last year acquired vodka makers Grey Goose and 42Below.

While 42Below will be 30 per cent more expensive than Absolut, it will be cheaper than Grey Goose.

About eight lakh cases of imported spirits are sold every year. Even with 150 per cent import duty, the market is growing at 20 per cent.

“We believe this segment has potential to grow at about 50 per cent in the future with duty rationalisation. State excise structure is also becoming more conducive. In states such as Bengal it has come down to 186 per cent from 332 per cent bulk per litre,” Madhavan said.

The company is also focussing on brand extensions and ready-to-drink formats such as Bacardi Breezers.

It plans to launch two extensions every year under the Bacardi Breezer brand.

The extensions will be fruit-based, vodka-based and wine-based drinks.

The Bacardi Breezer is priced between Rs 38 and Rs 50 for 275 ml bottles.

Drinking outside homes, which currently makes up 30 per cent of the market, is expected go to up substantially.

White spirits, which are key ingredients of cocktails, are expected to play a major part to boost this market.

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