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Rediff.com  » Business » SWC plans 'Black Mischief' for rum re-entry

SWC plans 'Black Mischief' for rum re-entry

August 06, 2004 08:52 IST

Indian liquor market for rum may just get more hot with Shaw Wallace & Company making a re-entry into the segment taking on rivals United Breweries and Mohan Meakin, two big players in this segment.

The company is in the process of introducing a new brand, which it said would be the flagship for SWC in this fast growing category.

"We are launching a new dark rum, Black Mischief. In the first full year of sale, we are looking to capture a minimum 10-15 per cent market share," AKMA Shamsuddin, president (liquor), SWC, told Business Standard.

At present, SWC has a dark rum brand called Old Adventure, which is popular in the canteen stores department market with sales of about one million case.

From now on Black Mischief would be the flagship dark rum offering from SWC. It has been priced competitively with market leader Old Monk from the stable of Mohan Meakin and Celebration from McDowell.

Rum market is estimated about 19 million cases but the bigger section is in the cheaper segment. Black Mischief, positioned in the regular segment, is coming with a price tag of Rs 180 for 750 ml (West Bengal) while Old Monk and Celebration also come at similar price points.

While overall liquor industry has been growing at 5-7 per cent, rum market is growing at 11 per cent per annum. The eastern region, followed by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra are the large rum consuming states.

Shamsuddin said the target group for the brand would be the younger generation. "We have introduced a packaging which is absolutely new in this industry. We will give it a trendy and youthful association," he added.

The company has stated that it would like to be the number one or two player in all the category it operates in within three year. Shamsuddin said substantial budget would be allocated to push the new brand.

SWC, with its key brands Antiquity, Royal Challenge, Director's Special whiskey and White Mischief vodka, is a strong player in the premium whiskey segment. The company sold about 15 million cases last year.
Sambit Saha in Kolkata