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Bacardi Breezer strengthens portfolio with new launch

Vijay S. Subramaniam will be responsible for leading commercial operations in the region for Bacardi’s portfolio of premium spirits. Photo: MintPremium
Vijay S. Subramaniam will be responsible for leading commercial operations in the region for Bacardi’s portfolio of premium spirits. Photo: Mint

  • To strengthen its presence in the alcoholic fruit-flavoured drink category, Bacardi launched a Watermelon Mint variant for the summer
  • For the company, after rum, the biggest sales value comes from its ready-to-drink portfolio – the Bacardi Breezer

The privately-held premium spirits company, Bacardi, announced a new variant of its ready-to-drink brand Breezer in India. To strengthen its presence in the alcoholic fruit-flavoured drink category it launched a Watermelon Mint variant for the summer. The new flavour will be available in Goa beginning March and move to Karnataka and Telangana in April-May before being rolled out pan-India.

The company, which boasts of a clutch of premium spirits in its portfolio such as Grey Goose Vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Bacardi rum, among others, is perhaps expanding its Breezer range to tap into India’s minuscule but growing market for low or no alcohol beverages. Breezer, launched in India in 2002, has an alcohol content of less than 5%. For the company, after rum, the biggest sales value comes from its ready-to-drink portfolio – the Bacardi Breezer.

In September 2020, market researcher Mintel looked at consumers’ inclination towards low or no alcohol drinks. Although its survey was restricted to beer drinkers in India, it found that Indians were open to trying low or no alcohol beer with concerns around health gaining momentum. In its report it noted that more than 40% respondents in the 25-34 age group were interested in switching from standard-strength beer to low or no alcohol variants of the drink. Mintel surveyed 1,655 Indian internet users aged over 25 years for this study.

To be sure, even other liquor companies such as United Breweries Ltd and Anheuser-Busch InBev, have introduced non-alcoholic variants to promote moderation in alcohol consumption and bring more younger drinkers into their fold.

In July 2019, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer entered the non-alcoholic beer market in India with the launch of an alcohol-free variant of its popular beer brand Budweiser.

The move was in line with AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking Goals where the company has set a target of achieving 20% of its global sales (by volume) through low- to non-alcoholic drinks by 2025.

In 2018, India’s largest brewer United Breweries that sells Kingfisher beer launched Kingfisher Radler—its non-alcoholic malt drink.

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