Whyte & Mackay targets India's discerning consumers with premium single malt portfolio

Director of Developing Markets reinforces commitment to the Indian market and unveils strategic initiatives in partnership with VBev India
Whyte & Mackay targets India's discerning consumers with premium single malt portfolio
Photo - Whyte & Mackay

Whyte and Mackay, a global leader in premium spirits, known for its exceptional craftsmanship and rich heritage is set to redefine the whisky-consumption experience in India. Mike Southgate, director of Developing Markets at Whyte & Mackay, recently visited India to strengthen the brands' commitment and foster relationships in the country’s burgeoning market. 

During his visit, Southgate engaged with key stakeholders, industry experts, and whisky enthusiasts to understand the unique preferences and aspirations of the Indian audience. Recognizing the growing demand for premium whisky in India, Whyte & Mackay with its two leading brands under its portfolio – The Dalmore and Jura are committed to providing an elevated drinking experience that resonates with the discerning Indian consumer. 

The brand currently offers The Dalmore 15, The Dalmore 12, Jura 12 and Jura 10 in India and has announced growing its portfolio with VBev by bringing The Dalmore Portwood Reserve and Jura 18 YO to India in the coming months. Both are exciting additions to continue to provide high-quality, premium single malt whiskies aligned with the growing consumer demand. 

W&M is the 5th largest Single Malt Whisky producer globally. Talking about the brand, Mike Southgate, director of Developing Markets – Whyte and Mackay, said, Our portfolio is undeniably whisky centric with real depth rather than a breadth across multiple categories. This gives us the unique opportunity to really focus on the category and have some wonderful blends including the likes of Whyte & Mackay, John Barr, and Claymore. But the beating heart of the business is our malts including both The Dalmore & Jura.”

The Dalmore celebrated globally for its royal heritage, expertly composed spirit, exceptional cask curation, and dedication to crafting a masterpiece, is set to appeal to the discerning Indian audience. Jura, on the other hand, is much more than a whisky. It’s home to a tiny island community of 212 people and their continued prosperity is at the heart of why we do what they do every day. 

"We owe our significant and category-leading growth over the past decade to the unwavering support of our discerning consumers who seek high-quality and exceptional tasting whiskies. Our valued partnerships, such as with VBev here in India, have also played a crucial role in our success. Take The Dalmore, a remarkable Highland whisky founded in 1839, which has emerged as the fastest-growing single malt globally, boasting an impressive +38% growth among the top eight brands. As the global #7 single malt, The Dalmore has achieved extraordinary milestones, including a remarkable +$102m growth in 2022 and a doubling in value in less than five years. Similarly, Jura, a captivating Islands whisky has experienced remarkable growth, becoming the 3rd fastest-growing top 20 brand by value at +28% since the pre-pandemic era,” Southgate added.

Globally, single malt whisky has now gone over $10bn retail sales value, with the last five years seeing a CAGR of 11.5%. The global CAGR for the coming five years sees single malt whisky continue to be forecasted for 5.3% growth, ahead of whisky in general at 3.7% and ahead of all other spirit categories.

Speaking about the Indian market and the future of the brand in India, Southgate, said, "India's single malt whisky market presents an exhilarating opportunity for Whyte & Mackay, as we anticipate its growth from US$0.21bn in 2022 to US$0.48bn in 2027. Over the next five years, India is forecast to deliver the 3rd highest level of absolute retail sales value in single malt whisky growth over the coming 5 years, just marginally behind China (+$318.8bn) and the USA (+$288.8) at a growth of +$273bn and more than double the next market (South Korea). This is bolstered by India's youthful population, perfectly aligning with the trend of younger consumers gravitating towards single malt. At Whyte & Mackay, we are committed to capitalizing on this exciting market, catering to the evolving preferences of Indian consumers with our premium offerings.”

Photo - Whyte & Mackay

The IWSR forecast of Indian whisky growing at a rate of +4.2%. To capture the growing Indian market, W&M recognizes the close partnership with VBev, which has an unmatched reach in the Indian market and is taking a greater focus on the Indian domestic market, ensuring enhanced product availability in a category characterized by scarcity in liquids. 

Sumedh Mandla, chief executive officer - VBev, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Whyte & Mackay, as we witness the growing footprint of our collaboration in the Indian market. Being rewarded by the Indian consumer, we take pride in achieving consistent strong double-digit growth over the past three years."

"At the core of our success lies our strategic focus on expanding the width of distribution, enabling us to reach discerning consumers across the country. Through diligent focus on visibility and trials, we have employed various targeted strategies to resonate with different demographics. For instance, our marketing approach for Jura caters to millennials, introducing innovative cocktails like the "Jura Sunset," while The Dalmore is positioned for a more matured audience, offering a refined drinking experience. With India's remarkable 12% increase in the demand for premium spirits in FY23, coupled with the resurgence of volume consumption in the spirits market, this collaboration is perfectly timed to cater to the nation's unwavering passion for exceptional single malt whiskies. Our shared goal is to provide our audience with the finest selection of premium whiskies, and our association with Whyte & Mackay ensures that we can deliver a world-class drinking experience to Indian connoisseurs both old and young."

In addition to their commitment to excellence, Whyte & Mackay, is dedicated to sustainability initiatives and focuses across 4 key pillars to support its sustainability agenda - Energy, Water, Packaging and Agriculture & Biodiversity. With a focus on responsible sourcing and production practices, the brands strive to minimize their environmental impact by being carbon neutral by 2030 and net zero by 2040, while maintaining the highest standards of quality.

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