New Delhi: Vijay Mallya-promoted United Spirits Ltd will start bottling Scotch whisky brands of Whyte & Mackay locally, while it gears up to introduce its vintage Dalmore brand priced at around Rs three lakh per bottle across major markets across the country.
United Spirits Ltd acquired Whyte & Mackay last year for £595 million.
“The local bottling of Whyte & Mackay Scotch whisky will start in the next couple of months at our Nashik distillery, where we are bottling our other Scotch brand Black Dog,” United Spirits Luxury Brands Business Head Anant Iyer said.
Locally bottled W&M brands will compete with Seagram’s 100 Pipers and Beam Global’s Teachers.
The idea of locally bottling Scotch whisky is to corner a 20% share in the domestic market because it would attract smaller duties and make the product less expensive, he added.
“We will launch the locally bottled whisky from Whyte & Mackay (W&M) under the brand ‘W&M Special´ in India and we are targeting a 20 per cent market share in two years,” Iyer said, declining to give details.
Besides, the company is also working on making all the nine brands from the W&M portfolio available in all major domestic markets, where it will compete with brands like Johnnie Walker, Black & White, Haig and Vat 69, all of which are from the Diageo stable, and Passport from Seagram.
Besides, USL plans to introduce its premium brands, Dalmore-40 yrs, priced at around Rs3 lakh per bottle, and W&M blended-40 yrs, in major markets across the country, he added.
The Scotch whisky market in India is estimated to be around seven lakh cases per annum and locally bottled brands are seen as the key driver of the market as they account for around six lakh cases and are registering maximum growth.
Bottled-in-origin products, which are at premium level, have a market of around one lakh cases per annum in India, excluding sales through duty free shops, which account for around 30 per cent of the Scotch market in India.
Whyte & Mackay is one of the biggest suppliers of bulk Scotch in the world and has an inventory of 115 million litres, valued at around $400 million.