United Spirits will review mass brands

United Spirits will review mass brands

(This story originally appeared in on Feb 23, 2021)

New Delhi: (USL) on Tuesday said it is set to start a strategic review of several of its mass-priced brands, excluding McDowell’s and Director’s Special trademarks. USL has around 30 brands in its ‘popular’ portfolio and the brands that will be reviewed account for half of these in terms of volumes.

While the move is expected to help the Diageo-controlled liquor company chase profitable growth through a premiumisation strategy, it could also mean selling off half its portfolio in the segment. Premium brands currently account for around 70% of Diageo’s sales in India, pitting the company against French liquor giant Pernod Ricard.

“These could mean brands like Bagpiper, Old Tavern, Hayward’s Fine range, Gold Riband/Blue Riband range, Karmazov vodka, Green Label, Mughal Monarch could be under review,” said a senior industry executive. “They have several such brands in the popular category, which is primarily the mainstream segment, where the margins are very thin.” “This note could mean that they are now exploring to finally sell some of these brands all together,” he added.

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