Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD) announced that its latest introduction, ICONiQ Whisky, has achieved a remarkable milestone by surpassing the 1 million cases sold mark within a year of its launch. Notably, this achievement was realized despite its availability limited to the North and East Indian states. This accomplishment is even more impressive as ABD has now extended the brand to larger states, including profit-rich regions like Maharashtra and Telangana, solidifying its position as the third-largest distiller in the country.
According to the company, the product combination of imported Scotch malts aged in bourbon oak casks, along with matured malts and Indian grain spirits, has garnered significant favor among consumers in the markets where it has been introduced. This launch was a strategic move by ABD to emphasize their commitment to higher-value portfolios within the prestigious and premium segments.
“Right at the time of the ICONiQ launch we went on record to say that ‘we are here with something very special, and here to win.’ I am confident that this is the start of many good things to come,” said Bikram Basu, chief strategy and marketing Officer at ABD.
ABD India has achieved remarkable success within a span of five years, introducing two exceptional brands that have become million-case sellers in highly competitive industry segments. First, there’s Sterling Reserve Whisky, which reached 5 million cases by 2022, and now, there’s the addition of ICONiQ Whisky. This achievement aligns with the Officer’s Choice franchise, which continues to maintain its position among the top three whiskies in terms of volume in 2022. In total, the company now boasts a portfolio that includes four brands with over 4 million cases sold, each containing 9 liters per case.
In the fiscal year 2022, the leading domestic alcoholic beverage company reported sales of INR 7,196 crore, with 28.62 million cases of alcohol sold, resulting in a market share of 7.4% within the IMFL (India-made foreign liquor) market.
ABD’s product lineup comprises some of the world’s best-selling spirits, such as Officer’s Choice whiskey, Jolly Roger Rum, and Kyron brandy, among other offerings. In the past year, the company expanded its range with the introduction of several premium brands, including Iconiq White Whisky, Srishti Premium Whisky, and X&O Premium World Grain Whisky.
Last year, the company took a significant step by submitting draft papers to SEBI, outlining its intention to raise INR 2,000 crore through an initial public offering (IPO). Of the funds generated, around INR 709 crore is designated for the prepayment or scheduled repayment of loans and to support general corporate requirements.
According to industry executives citing the latest data from the excise department, the spirits market in the country witnessed a remarkable growth in sales volume. In the year ending March, it reached 395 million cases, marking a 12% surge compared to the previous fiscal year (FY21-22). This increase of nearly 40 million cases from the market’s previous peak, approximately four years ago, is a notable achievement.