We are trying to reach every single consumer in India: MD, Distell Group

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Aspri Spirits Pvt Ltd, which distributes Amarula — a premium fruit based cream liquor brand from South Africa-based Distell Group, has launched the brand in Delhi. The company is very aggressive with its expansion in India and is planning to tie up with as many distribution points as possible by March 2010, informed a top company official.

Speaking to IndiaRetailing, Marius Fouche, managing director – Asia Pacific, Australia and Middle East, Distell Group Ltd, said, “The category in which Amarula serves is the cream liquor category. One can drink Amarula mixed with coffee and it can also be tasted over hundred different ways, mixed with lot of recipes, but mostly we promote Amarula as a cocktail brand. The growth prospects for this segment are very high in India, especially in the duty-free sector.”

With 44 per cent market share globally, the company has been growing at double digit figure in the Indian market. “It is very difficult to predict the growth rate of Amarula in the Indian market at this stage because we have just launched the brand. But we are available in the same market with quite a lot of other brands including a very popular South African brand called Nederburg. We have been experiencing double digit growth and in the last year, we have seen more than 300 per cent growth in volumes,” added Fouche.

“Indian market is an investment market for us as of now and we are not expecting a huge amount of revenue immediately. Our target at the moment is not volume based, rather distribution based. We are trying to expand our brands to every single consumer in India and are planning to tie up with as many distribution points as possible,” said Fouche while elaborating the marketing strategy of the company. “We want to make our brands available in hotels, restaurants and especially in retail sector as retail in India is growing very big and it has been predicted that by 2015, it will be at Rs 450 billion. We would like to be a part of it.”

According to him, India is going to be the largest market of Amarula in Asia-Pacific region because he believes the competition arising out of the improved quality of local liquor production in India will play a great role for the growth of the industry, especially for wine producing countries and the producers in general. “The local wine production has become much better and the quality of Indian wine has improved immensely. As a result more and more people are getting used to it and are appreciating wine.”

But he believes that wine as a product is not sold in retail stores and that can be looked at for the over all growth of the segment. “Until now, modern retail in India is not selling wine, other than some places in Bengaluru and Mumbai,” said Fouche.

Distell brands are currently available in India in Flemingo outlets and around 32 airport duty free shops and sea ports. The company will relaunch one of its brands in the Indian market in September this year. “We have just moved one of our wine brands Nederburg in the Aspri portfolio. We are planning to relaunch the brand in the Indian market in September 2009,” concluded Fouche.

— Sarimul Islam Choudhury

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