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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Mar 2009

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Amarula Goes To Bollywood


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Distell, already represented by Nederburg and Two Oceans wines in India, has launched its flagship cream liqueur, Amarula, in two of the country’s most populous and affluent states, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Maharashta’s capital is Mumbai, India’s foremost business, movie, retail and tourist centre, while the state’s city of Pune is a hub of academia and business and supports a range of top-flight hotels and restaurants.  Banagalore in Karnataka is India’s IT capital and arguably its most modern city.

Amarula currently sells in over 100 countries worldwide.  South Africa’s most widely distributed alcoholic beverage, it is being represented by Flamingo International in India, where it is focusing on duty-free outlets and high-end hotels in the two states.

“In line with the goal to extend our global footprint, we decided to launch Amarula, with its strong South African identity, in India at a time of strengthening economic, travel and cultural ties between our two countries,” said Distell’s director for international operations, Donald Gallow. 

India’s economic transformation has been widely documented and despite the current downturn and a global contraction in consumer spending, is recording growth ahead of the developed countries.  McKinsey & Company has put the size of the country’s middle class at over 50 million people and has projected it with swell more than tenfold to 583 million by 2025. While India is presently the world’s 12th largest consumer economy, within the next 15 years it is expected to move to fifth place, according to McKinsey’s researchers.

“Even if it can be argued that these projections, made during the economic boom, might be considered too optimistic in the current climate, there can be no doubt that the sheer size of India and its economic force offer excellent potential to producers of luxury goods,” Gallow said.

Amarula’s unique positioning, its reputation as the world’s best liqueur on the International Wine & Spirit Competition, and its strong link with the majestic African elephant make it a particularly alluring offering, believes Gallow.

The brand was recently accorded super-brand status in South Africa by the South African Superbrands Council 2008/9 for its market dominance, overall market acceptance, longevity, as well as the goodwill and customer loyalty it engenders.

Earlier this month, Distell made its first fully-fledged international acquisition with the purchase from Pernod Ricard of renowned cognac brand Bisquit, taking the company further into the mainstream international spirits market.  This deal follows on the company’s joint venture established two years ago with Burn Stewart Distillers, a Scotch whisky producer, in which the two parties as equal partners own and market in sub-Saharan Africa, three whiskies – Bunnahabhain, Black Bottle and Scottish Leader.


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