Chivas Brothers, the scotch whisky arm of French alco-bev major Pernod Ricard plans to introduce premium and super-premium brands from its global portfolio in India, riding on the premiumization trend in the region. India with its growing whiskey consumer base can potentially be the largest market for the global inc, said Jean-Etienne Gourgues, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers.

The makers of Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, and Royal Salute, will be introducing new variants and matured malts of its brand Glenlivet, which is more fruitier, tropical, and smoother, and has the type of aromas dedicated to the southern part of India. It will also be launching a new expression of 100 Pipers in India, in the premium segment.

“We aim to bring in more innovation, with the introduction of more brands into India. In total, Chivas Brothers has 40 Scotch Whisky brands, and only 4-5 are present in India, hence we have room for growth in the Indian market,” Gourgues told businessline.

Bullish on India, the CEO noted that India is the biggest Whiskey market in the world with over 25 million new consumers entering the space every year, and is a ‘unique and game-changing’ market. The company has witnessed a 13-15 per cent constant CAGR over the last five years. In FY23, it reported 27 per cent growth in India.

Gourgues said, “India was the fastest-growing market in APAC, last year. Today, India is one of our top three markets and is almost at par with France. We can definitely sustain the CAGR rate, driven by growth in the premium and super premium category. We are also building our brands, supply chain, and inventory in the region.”

He further said that the company is seeing growth to be more value-driven than volume-driven as consumption has ramped up with premiumization taking center stage. “We are definitely in the premiumization game and we saw that big time in India, as the growth of Ballantine’s and Chivas saw a very strong growth. The higher the age profile of the whisky or the premium-ness the stronger the growth has been,” Gourgues noted.

Commenting on the India-UK FTA negotiations, he said that the company does not define its strategies according to the FTA, albeit it will be an ‘excellent’ addition as it can help to offer  much better Scotch Whisky at more affordable prices to consumers in India and will be a “huge benefit.”