The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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UB uncorks Romanov Shotz

New Delhi, Aug. 28: The UB group’s spirits division (UBGSD) today launched Romanov Shotz, its vodka-based carbonated drink with only 5 per cent alcohol content. The company plans to generate Rs 150 crore in sales from this product over the next two years.

Romanov shotz will be priced between Rs 35 and Rs 42 for a 250 ml bottle depending on the taxation levels in the different states. The ready-to-drink beverage, available in lemon and orange flavours, is scheduled for market rollout in early September in Mumbai, followed by Goa, Delhi, and other metros before going national.

Vijay K. Rekhi, president of UBGSD, said, “We are crystal gazing at a scenario where about 5 per cent of the 80 million cases strong beer sales make a shift to this kind of drink. If we manage to tap 5 per cent, we will have about 2 million cases. This will lead to about 10 per cent increase in our revenues, amounting to about Rs 150-160 crore”. The present revenue of UBGSD is Rs 1800 crore, Rekhi said.

Romanov is a vodka drink from the UBGSD that has a 37 per cent share of the Indian vodka market of about 6 lakh cases. It is a Herbertsons brand, one of the two companies under the UBGSD umbrella, the other one being McDowell. Sounding gung-ho about the trend in the metros to seek low alcoholic beverages, Rekhi said, “We intend to have a portfolio of Ready-to-drink that will position us well in this emerging market. The drink will be initially sold through pubs and upmarket restaurants. Interestingly, the shape of the bottle and the name are both rather close to the ginseng based Coca-Cola energy drink — Shock. Alok Gupta, divisional vice-president (marketing) said UBGSD is also planning to launch an energy drink.

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