- Bacardi sold close to 1.7 million cases of its iconic rum brand in India, as compared to 1.4 million in Mexico in 2018.
- As compared to Diageo, Bacardi rum portfolio grew 22 percent while brands of Diageo such as McDowells No1 Celebration and Captain Morgan rum saw a 3 percent decline in 2018.
India has outpaced Mexico to become the second-biggest market for Bacardi’s rum, as the users are gradually shifting to expensive products across the alcoholic beverage segments in a largely whiskey-dominated market.
Bacardi sold close to 1.7 million cases of its iconic brand in India, as compared to 1.4 million in Mexico in 2018. Last year, both countries had a similar volume of sales at 1.4 million cases, according to the International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR). The United States remained the largest market for the Bermuda-based company with rum sales of 6.4 million cases.
“We see a lot of consumers upgrade to higher-priced rum and other spirits which helped us grow about 19% last year since most of our brands are into premium segments. India is also a top priority market for us globally, and we have been investing in bringing newer brands and supporting infrastructure last year,” said Sanjit Randhawa, the managing director at Bacardi India. “The market also bounced back after highway ban and regulatory issues a year ago.”
Bacardi is the third largest international spirits company in India after Diageo and Pernod Ricard, with sales of Rs. 3,215 crore or 6.1 million cases. Bacardi also makes Bombay Sapphire Gin, Grey Goose, and Dewar’s Scotch
The numbers have doubled since last three years, after it launched a host of products, especially in the non-rum segments such as William Lawson’s Scotch, Dewar’s 15- and 18- year-old, Star of Bombay gin and sparkling wine brand Martini Prosecco.
Whiskey dominates for around 70 percent of India’s overall spirits market of 343 million cases in volume.
Bacardi plans to expand its rum portfolio and is planning to launch higher-priced versions rather than restricting themselves. It recently launched Reserva Ocho, eight years aged rum in India and has plans to introduce four years and 10 years aged rum
Randhawa also said that Rum as a category is also shifting towards aged products globally, similar to whiskey or scotch segment where customers like their age on the basis of its maturity. This trend is coming to India at a rapid pace which is getting premium every day.
In India, rums sales are largely driven by the Canteen Stores Departments or the army canteens and customers in southern and eastern India which is dominated by mass brands.
The latest IWSR report said that this category is slowly becoming a premium category given the sentiment of consumer and the increasing interest among local producers to launch premium products.
As compared to Diageo, Bacardi rum portfolio grew 22 percent while brands of Diageo such as McDowells No1 Celebration and Captain Morgan rum saw a 3 percent decline in 2018. Mohan Meakin’s Old Monk grew 7 percent while sales of Khoday expanded to 5 percent, said the report.