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Diageo rolls out Smirnoff Black in Karnataka

The company, which has launched the brand - Smirnoff Black, available at a price point that is above the entry level product - in Maharashtra last week, is now looking to introduce it in Karnataka in September.

Tags: smirnoff vodka, liquor, alchohol

August 29, 2014  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
Diageo rolls out Smirnoff Black in Karnataka

NEW DELHI: World's largest liquor maker Diageo will extend its new vodka offering in the Smirnoff range by rolling it out in Karnataka. The company, which has launched the brand - Smirnoff Black, available at a price point that is above the entry level product - in Maharashtra last week, is now looking to introduce it in Karnataka in September. "Our objective with this launch is much larger. With Smirnoff Black, we are entering a whole new price segment which allows to access customers at new price point. Our ambition is to make Smirnoff Black a significant part of the vodka business," Diageo India Marketing & Innovation Director, Bhavesh Somaya said. The new brand is being positioned above the Smirnoff vodka. At Rs 1,300 for 750 ml bottle, it is priced at 30-35 per cent premium over the Smirnoff vodka. Diageo, which also sells brands like Ciroc and Ketel One, has a market share of around 78 per cent in the vodka segment. According to an IWSR report, the vodka market in the country stood at 7.9 million nine litre cases. With Smirnoff brand, the company serves the entry level of the vodka segment, while Ciroc and Ketel One brands cater to the premium-end of the segment, Somaya said. When asked about the launch strategy for the brand, Somaya said: "We have launched the brand in Maharashtra last week and now plan to introduce it in Karnataka next month. These two markets are critical for us as these account for around 35 per cent of our vodka business". Due to the higher sales in the two markets, the company would first focus on these states before rolling out the brand in other parts of the country, he added. "The learnings from these markets would help us roll out the brand in other parts of the country," Somaya said. The company is getting the Smirnoff Black vodka manufactured by third party arrangement in Aurangabad. "We have enough capacity at the moment to cater to the markets where we plan to launch the brand. We will take a call on the manufacturing plans only if the need arises at a later stage," Somaya said. Diageo, which gained control of United Spirits earlier this year, other brands include Johnnie Walker whiskey, Guinness beer and VAT 69.


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