what makes fashion a sweet spot for licensing?
what makes fashion a sweet spot for licensing?

Over the years the number of licensing deals, especially pertaining to characters, has grown to meet the demands of young adults who are well travelled and well informed, which is evident in Disney launching Mickey Mouse inspired collection with Myntra’s in-house brand Kook n Keech and the enormous success of Salman Khan’s Being Human Clothing.

While Disney or Being Human didn’t set up unit for apparels, they simply licensed the properties to the brands to manufacture, distribute and market the branded products. Such strategies enable the parent company to mark its presence in non-core category, without actually getting into the category, thereby making profit at zero inventory cost.

Coca-Cola, the leader in beverages market is raking up strong growth by extending the brand into non-core categories, especially fashion, through licensing. To much surprise, a noticeable per cent of its sales driven through licensing, with apparel and related fashion accessories contributing to 65 per cent of its licensed sales. 

Why fashion licensing is growing in India?

Pegged at $741 billion, the licensing and merchandising industry owes a majority of the revenue to fashion centric deals primarily apparel followed by footwear and accessories. Apparel as a licensed category is growing in India, reason being the increasing fan base and availability of international content. Moreover, apparel as a category starts at quite affordable ticket size thus promising great returns.

What makes fashion a profitable avenue for licensing is the fact that expenditure of Indian household on clothing and footwear contributes to around 3 trillion Indian rupees, making it 7.2 per cent of the total domestic consumption.

“Licensing in fashion apparel is very lucrative given that it gives the opportunity to marry two brand values to make a product that matches both its target consumers. What this allows is that the product becomes more accessible to the crowd carrying the aesthetics of both the brands,” asserted Manish Mandhana, MD, Mandhana Industries that is official apparel licensee for Being Human.

The international brands are also eyeing at fashion to mark their presence at retail shelves in India. Betting big on creating a lifestyle brand for Penthouse magazine, Kelly Holland, Managing Director, Penthouse Entertainment told “Penthouse Magazine, often considered an integral part for youngsters, has been a part of lifestyle. India has been a key focus in our expansion strategy for quite a while, given that the market is maturing and growing at a brisk pace. The key categories of interest include apparel, accessories where we are looking to work with premium brands.”

“Fashion licensing is a potential avenue for brands as it offers much more visibility coupled with affordable ticket-price as compared to any other category,” elucidated Chitra Johri, VP, Bradford License India. Apparel as a category contribute to 60 per cent of the fashion segment, while licensed apparel market accounts to 23.8 per cent of the revenues from licensed merchandise and 85 per cent of licensed fashion sales.

"Fashion Licensing is the 3rd biggest category of licensing globally and contributes almost 15% of the Licensing pie. A lot of factors have contributed to Fashion brands launching and growing this market in India as well. Through easy access to Technology, Internet, Social media more and more  consumers in India have started following international/brands and are very well aware of the latest happenings and trends  in the fashion space. This gives a big opportunity and market to fashion labels to target these consumers, adds Bhavik Vora, CEO & Founder, BlackWhiteOrange.

While apparel segment has emerged as an apt medium for characters and entertainment properties, designers labels have also found interest in fashion licensing, by extending rights to retailer or manufacturers for core as well as non-core range. As per designer Rocky S, founder, Rocky Star, “Fashion licensing helps us foray into multiple fields along with the core category. Though in India this trend is yet to catch up, up internationally, licensing is what has multiplied brand value and reach of designer labels as Elie Saab and Dolce & Gabbana.”

Adding to it, Akhilesh Sharma, GM - Rohit Bal Designs Pvt Ltd revealed, “Fashion, being a potential market, offers greater visibility to a brand. Moreover, since apparel is the largest category to be sold across markets, the expanse is much wider in this case, thus enabling a brand to churn out maximum profits.”

Market leaders

Disney India, which first brought its consumer products to India in 2005, is one of the major licensors in India. Working with local partners and organized retail giants such as Landmark, Amazon.in and Bestseller, Disney India has broadened its reach to over 2,00,000 outlets. Cartoon Network Entertainment, Yash Raj Films, Kolkata Knight Rider, Viacom18, Rovio, NBA are other prominent players.

Amongst domestic players, BCCL is one of the major players along with designer labels. Designer Rocky S has forayed into fashion accessories with Shoppers Stop, while Rohit Bal label is scouting for licensees for its prêt range.

Commenting on the emerging trend in fashion licensing, Pankaj Sikka, Chief Strategist, Invision Brands said, “While T-shirt is the first category any brand eyes at for brand extension, activewear is the emerging trend, with brands from Being Human to HRX launching activewear.”

Business Model

The licensee pays the licensor either the minimum guarantee promised based on the projected sales, or a royalty fee for each item sold. The royalty fee varies for different categories.

Johri shared, “Minimum investment in this case is subjected to the brands and category. For a new IP, it can range from 15 to 20 lakhs while in case of popular properties say PepsiCo or Penthouse, the minimum guarantee reaches to some crores.”  While the tenure of licensing agreements in this segment usually last three to five years, it can be shorter if it is a first-time partner.

As said, licensing acts as business strategy which can make or break the brand image, it is crucial for a brand to choose a licensee wisely. Briefing on ideal portfolio of licensee, Sandeep Dahiya, Director & business head – Brand Extension, BCCL Director & business head – Brand Extension, BCCL explained, “We look for three things - stability with partner, sustainability in business as getting a deal is easy, but sustaining it is a challenge; and capability to carry the brand.”

While brands swear by licensing as an effective retail strategy, the licensees find fashion licensing as less time consuming way to scale-up. “The brand does give you an entry point in the market because if you don’t have credibility in market, it is going to take you very long to get established in the market,” said Bhai Ajinder Singh, MD, M&B Footwear (licensee of Lee Cooper). Singh further adds that in all the large brands, there is 40:60 dependency on either apparel or footwear.

“What the brand wants from us a very good manufacturing facility so that they do not need to constantly check upon the quality of products that a licensee is selling off because a licensee not only sells the brand licensed products but also the brand,” asserted Amrit Sethia, COO of women’s brand SOIE that has licensing rights of wonder women and superman for innerwear.

Future opportunities

Successful licensed programs require the perfect concoction of standout brands, high-quality licensees and retail support. Industry experts indicate that fashion licensing has immense potential in India given that modern retail is still evolving in the country, which is expected to have the highest working age population in the world by 2020.

The future aspects include capsule collections as done by JACK & JONES for Captian America. “Limited edition capsule collections have worked excellently for JACK & JONES and we hope to replicate the same success with the CIVIL WAR collection,” asserted Vineet Gautam, Country Head, JACK & JONES India while revealing details about the limited edition Captain America collection.

Moreover, India’s fast-growing eCommerce industry is also adding to the immense potential of fashion segment with a plethora of eCommerce players dealing in licensed apparel (Freecultr, Voxpop, Gabambo, Myntra, PlanetSuperheroes.com etc.) 

 
Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
11 Must-Have Whiskies Under Rs 10,000 to Elevate Your Collection
11 Must-Have Whiskies Under Rs 10,000 to Elevate Your Collection
 

Whisky, with its rich heritage and complex flavors, has long held a revered place in the hearts of connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Whether it’s a smooth single malt savored in a quiet moment of reflection or a bold blend enjoyed in lively gatherings, whisky has a unique way of marking moments and creating memories.

In recent years, the appreciation for this storied spirit has seen a remarkable surge, particularly in regions where its consumption was traditionally limited. This rise in popularity is coupled with an expanding market that offers a wide range of options, from high-end collector’s editions to more affordable, yet quality, selections.

For whisky enthusiasts or newcomers looking to build a collection without breaking the bank, there's good news. The world of whisky presents a plethora of excellent options under Rs 10,000. This price range is a sweet spot, offering access to some of the finest whiskies, each boasting its own unique history, crafting process, and flavor profile.

In this guide, we'll explore 11 such whiskies that deserve a place in your collection. From the smoky peat of a classic Islay to the smooth sweetness of a Speyside malt, these selections promise to take you on a journey through the rich and varied landscape of whisky at a price that’s hard to beat.

1. Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old 

Origin and History

Glenfiddich, Gaelic for “Valley of the Deer,” is synonymous with Speyside whisky and has been a cornerstone of this whisky-producing region since 1887. Pioneered by William Grant, this distillery has remained family-owned for generations, a testament to its commitment to tradition and quality.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old is matured in Oloroso sherry and bourbon oak casks, a process that gives it a distinctively rich, mellow flavor, and a golden hue. This single malt is renowned for its beautifully balanced nose and complex palate.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, it offers a bouquet of pear and subtle oak. The palate is greeted with orchard fruit flavors, particularly pear and apple, with a hint of oak and a touch of honey. The finish is long, smooth, and mellow.

Awards or RecognitionsThis expression has won numerous awards for its consistently high quality, including a Gold at the 2018 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Food Pairings
Its light and fruity character makes it a perfect accompaniment to seafood, particularly smoked salmon, or simply enjoyed on its own or with a dash of water to unlock its flavors.

2. Jameson Irish Whisky

Origin and History

Founded in 1780 by John Jameson in Dublin, Ireland, Jameson has become one of the most recognizable and popular Irish whiskies globally. The brand has a rich heritage, and its story is deeply intertwined with the history of Ireland itself.
Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Jameson Irish Whisky is known for its smoothness, which is achieved through a triple distillation process, a tradition of Irish whiskies. It's a blend of pot still and fine grain whiskies, aged in oak barrels that previously held sherry, bourbon, and Spanish Malaga.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: A light floral fragrance, peppered with spicy wood and sweet notes.
  • Palate: Perfect balance of spicy, nutty, and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry. The smoothness is remarkable, with a gentle warmth leading to a lingering, flavorful finish.
  • Finish: A smooth and sweet finish with milk chocolate and butterscotch.

Awards or Recognitions

Jameson has been lauded in several international spirits competitions, reflecting its consistent quality and popularity.

Food Pairings

  • Pairs exceptionally well with ginger ale, enhancing its smoothness without overpowering its distinct character. It's also versatile in cocktails and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Perfect with apple pie or chocolate desserts for a contrasting flavor experience.

3. Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch

Origin and History

Monkey Shoulder, named after a term used for temporary injury workers suffered in the whisky industry, is a relatively new brand that has quickly gained popularity. It's a blend of three of Speyside's finest single malts.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This whisky is a mix of three different Speyside single malts, matured in bourbon casks. The focus is on creating a rich, smooth, and approachable flavor profile, making it a favorite among new whisky drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Delicate floral notes intertwined with zesty citrus, honey, and spiced oak.
  • Palate: Smooth and creamy with hints of mellow vanilla, sweet spices, and a touch of oak. The presence of malt is evident, providing a nice depth.
  • Finish: Long and smooth, with a lingering taste of honey and a hint of spicy oak.

Awards or Recognitions

Monkey Shoulder has won multiple awards for its innovative approach and quality, making it a staple in bars worldwide.

Food Pairings

Its versatility shines in cocktails, especially those requiring a robust malt flavor. It also pairs well with chocolate and rich desserts due to its vanilla and spiced oak notes.

4. Talisker 10 Year Old

Origin and History

Talisker, produced on the Isle of Skye, is known for its maritime character, owing to its coastal location. Founded in 1830, it's the only distillery on the island and is revered for its unique character.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This single-malt Scotch whisky is aged for 10 years in American oak casks. Talisker is known for its deep, peaty taste, combined with a smoothness and complexity that is often attributed to its island origins.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Powerful peat-smoke with just a hint of the seaweed and a salty, sea-breeze character.
  • Palate: Rich and full-bodied, it brings forward flavors of dried fruits, smoke, and barley, complemented by a rich sweetness.
  • Finish: Long and warming, with an intense smokiness and a hint of licorice.

Awards or Recognitions

  • Talisker 10 Year Old has garnered acclaim in various international whisky competitions for its distinctive and robust flavor profile.

Food Pairings

  • Perfectly complements seafood, especially oysters or smoked salmon. The smoky flavor also pairs well with spicy and flavorful meat dishes.

5. Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old

Origin and History

Chivas Regal, with its roots going back to the 1800s, is one of the world's best-selling blended Scotch whiskies. The brand is known for its smooth, rich, and versatile profile.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This 12-year-old blend is a mix of many different malt and grain Scotch whiskies. The key to its taste lies in the careful blending, which ensures a consistent and balanced flavor profile.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: An aromatic infusion of wild herbs, heather, honey, and orchard fruits.
  • Palate: Rich and smooth, Chivas 12 opens with the taste of ripe, honeyed apples, and notes of vanilla, hazelnut, and butterscotch.
  • Finish: The finish is rich and lingering, with hints of toasted oak and buttery caramel.

Awards or Recognitions

Recognized and awarded globally, Chivas Regal's 12-Year-Old is celebrated for its extraordinary blending and aging process.

Food Pairings

  • Complements a range of dishes, from savory steaks to rich, creamy desserts. Excellent with dark chocolate or as a sophisticated after-dinner drink.

6. Johnnie Walker Black Label

Origin and History

Johnnie Walker Black Label, with over two centuries of blending expertise, is one of the most iconic blended Scotch whiskies. It's known for its unique blend of whiskies from all four corners of Scotland.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Aged for 12 years, it's a blend of around 40 whiskies, each aged to perfection. The result is a deep and complex flavor, a hallmark of the Johnnie Walker brand.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Rich and tropical with hints of vanilla, sweet spice, and peat.
  • Palate: Smooth and complex, with dark fruits, vanilla, and smoky flavors.
  • Finish: Long and lingering, with a smoky and spicy character.

Awards or Recognitions

Johnnie Walker Black Label has received numerous accolades and awards, solidifying its status as a premium blended Scotch.
Food Pairings

Versatile in pairing, it goes well with grilled meats, rich chocolate desserts, or strong cheeses.

7. The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

Origin and History

The Glenlivet, originating from the Speyside region of Scotland, has a prestigious history dating back to 1824. It's known for setting the standard for the Speyside style of whisky.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Aged for 12 years, this single malt Scotch is matured in a mix of European and American oak, which imparts distinct flavors to the whisky. The Glenlivet is celebrated for its smoothness and floral elegance.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Aromatic and floral, with hints of summer fruits and a subtle creamy sweetness.
  • Palate: Smooth and fruity, with flavors of vanilla, honey, and orchard fruits, particularly pear and apple.
  • Finish: Long and gentle, with a lingering sweetness and hints of nuts and spice.

Awards or Recognitions

The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old has won several awards, reaffirming its status as a classic example of Speyside single malt whisky.

Food Pairings

Pairs beautifully with light seafood dishes, creamy cheeses, or fruit-based desserts.

8. Aberlour 12 Year Old

Origin and History

Aberlour, located in the heart of Speyside, is known for its rich, complex whiskies. The distillery was founded in 1826 and has a strong reputation for quality and craftsmanship.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This 12-year-old single malt is double cask matured in traditional oak and sherry casks, which contributes to its deep flavor and amber color.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Rich and fruity, with aromatic spices and subtle oak.
  • Palate: Full-bodied, with a balanced mix of sweet and spicy flavors, showcasing notes of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, and ginger.
  • Finish: Long and warm, with lingering spice and a touch of sweet sherry.

Awards or Recognitions

Aberlour's 12-Year-Old is frequently recognized in international whisky competitions for its exceptional balance and depth.

Food Pairings

Ideal with rich desserts like chocolate cake or as an accompaniment to a cheese platter featuring aged cheeses.

9. Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Origin and History

Laphroaig, hailing from the Isle of Islay, is famous for its intensely peaty and smoky whiskies. Established in 1815, the distillery has a long-standing tradition of using local peat and water for distillation.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The 10-year-old expression is matured in ex-bourbon barrels, which gives it a distinctive smoky flavor, typical of Islay malts, coupled with a touch of sweetness.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Bold and smoky, with a strong peat presence accompanied by hints of seaweed and a slight sweetness.
  • Palate: Rich and full-bodied, showcasing deep smoky flavors, along with hints of vanilla, malt, and a touch of the sea.
  • Finish: Long and peaty, with an enduring warmth and slight saltiness.

Awards or Recognitions

Laphroaig 10 Year Old is a highly acclaimed whisky, particularly among lovers of peaty and smoky single malts.
Food Pairings

Best enjoyed with strong flavors like blue cheese or smoked meats, which complement its robust character.

10. Balvenie 12-Year-Old DoubleWood

Origin and History

The Balvenie distillery, located in Speyside, Scotland, has a rich history dating back to 1892. Known for its traditional craftsmanship, Balvenie maintains a high level of hands-on production, including growing its own barley and maintaining its own cooperage.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The 12-year-old DoubleWood gains its distinctive character from being matured in two wood types. It starts in traditional whisky casks, and American oak ex-bourbon barrels, and finishes in European oak sherry casks, which contributes to its rich, mellow flavor.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla.
  • Palate: Smooth and mellow, with beautifully combined flavors of nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness, and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
  • Finish: Long and warming, with a pleasant, lingering sherry tone.

Awards or Recognitions

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old is a highly acclaimed whisky, praised for its depth and balanced flavors.

Food Pairings

Pairs well with caramel desserts or rich, creamy cheeses, complementing its sweet and smooth profile.

11. Glenmorangie The Original 10-Year-Old

Origin and History

Glenmorangie, one of Scotland's most renowned distilleries, has been producing whisky since 1843 in the Highlands. It's famed for its use of the tallest stills in Scotland, which contribute to its distinctively smooth and elegant character.
Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The Original 10-Year-Old is matured in first and second-fill American white oak casks. These casks are known for imparting a natural sweetness to the whisky.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Aromatic with floral notes, hints of peach, and vanilla.
  • Palate: Creamy and fruity, with flavors of peaches and cream, citrus, and a hint of nuttiness.
  • Finish: Gentle and lingering, with subtle notes of orange and vanilla.

Awards or Recognitions

Glenmorangie The Original is celebrated worldwide for its refined smoothness and elegant profile, winning numerous awards in international competitions.

Food Pairings

12. Indri-Trini

Excellent with light seafood dishes or fresh fruit desserts, enhancing its delicate fruity character.

At the heart of Piccadily Distilleries is Indri, a one-of-its-kind single malt made in India. Launched in 2021, Indri-Trini is India's first triple cask single malt bottled at 42.8% abv. Indri or Indriya in Sanskrit refers to the 5 senses - smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. Trini literally alludes to the three coveted casks that the single malt is matured in—ex-bourbon, ex-French wine and PX Sherry. Having won more than 14 global awards so far, Indri Trini has put India on the world map of premium single malts like never before. The smooth single malt carries a deep amber colour and notes of caramelized pineapple, vanilla, black tea, raisins, honey and a long aftertaste of sweet fruity flavours that leave you wanting for more.

Conclusion

Each of these 11 whiskies offers a unique experience, catering to a range of palates and preferences. Whether you are drawn to the peaty punch of an Islay malt like Laphroaig, the smooth elegance of a Speyside whisky like Glenfiddich, or the balanced richness of a blended Scotch like Johnnie Walker Black Label, there’s something in this list for every whisky enthusiast. At under Rs 10,000, these selections provide an accessible entry into the world of premium whiskies without compromising on quality and taste. As you explore these diverse and exquisite whiskies, remember to savor each sip and appreciate the craftsmanship and history in every bottle.

 

Next Story
Also Worth Reading