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Brindco eyes larger share of Australian wine market in India with Penfolds

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-08-2017 Deepti Govind

Bengaluru: Brindco Sales Ltd, an importer of alcoholic beverage brands, has announced the launch of Penfolds wine in 500 retail outlets in a bid to further tap into the small but growing Australian wine market in India.

The entry-level Penfolds will be priced as a mid-tier wine, but the brand has wines that can go all the way up to ultra-premium, Brindco said. The licence to sell Penfolds, which comes from the stable of Australian Treasury Wine Estates, was acquired by Brindco last year and the Indian liquor importer has been ramping up its retail distribution network for the brand. Brindco has seven other Australian wines in its portfolio.

With Penfolds and other brands from Treasury Wine Estates, such as Lindemans and Rawson’s Retreat, Brindco aims to capture a considerable portion of the Australian wine market at various price points.

“Retail is a very buoyant sector in India and as wine moves mainstream, you will find a shift of consumption from on-trade to off-trade. In Australia, 30-40 years ago people used to drink a lot of wine outside but today 80% of the wine is consumed at homes,” Aman Dhall, executive director of Brindco, said in an interview.

In liquor sales parlance, on-trade refers to hotels, bars and restaurants, while off-trade implies retail outlets.

The imported wine market was estimated to be 300,000 cases in 2015-16, according to Brindco, which also collates data on the imported alcoholic beverage market. India’s imported wine market grew 16% year-on-year in 2015-16, Brindco said.

Australian wines have been growing at the fastest pace among imported wines, roughly 25% by volume and 30% in value terms, according to Brindco. Much of that growth is due to the growing popularity of Jacob’s Creek wine, which is sold in India by French liquor giant Pernod Ricard SA.

Wine is the largest category in Brindco’s portfolio in terms of the number of brands. They list more than 300 brands across various price points with the largest falling under what they term quality wines, or those that cost Rs4,500 per bottle or more, and premium or super-premium fine wines that cost more than Rs15,000 per bottle.

“If you go to any of the top outlets, 10 years ago they’d have 30-40 different labels of wine. Today they have 200. But these 200 are mostly entry level; they sell up to Rs2,000 per bottle. Where they leave, Penfolds starts,” Dhall said.

Penfolds, which will initially put up 10 varieties of its wines for sale in India, will be priced from Rs1,800 up to Rs70,000 per bottle. Penfolds is a 500,000-plus case brand globally and Brindco expects to sell 10,000 cases in India this year.

“India represents an exciting opportunity. Across South East Asia there’s a passion for knowledge—what we are drinking or eating—and wine naturally has that provenance. There’s also a growth in people wanting to eat and drink higher quality and better things and wine fits beautifully into that,” said Sam Stephens, Penfolds’ winemaking ambassador.

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