India's largest whisky producer, Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), is set to enter the Russian market to replace Western counterparts whose trade in the country has been restricted, leading to a scarcity of whisky. ABD is the third-most-popular whisky producer in the world and produces brands such as Officer's Choice. India currently produces 60% of the world's whisky, and ABD exports its products to more than 20 countries. For the first time, ABD will export its products to Russia, with Russian vodka manufacturer Alcohol Siberia Group (ASG) as the distributor for two of their liquor brands, Officer's Choice Blue and Sterling Reserve premium.
According to a report by the Russian news daily Kommersant, deliveries of the alcohol started in February 2023, and the contract will be valid until October 2025. ABD is aiming to capture the market share vacated by Western brands that have stopped delivering to the country. Whisky was the most affected alcohol in Russia after the trade restrictions by some Western countries, with Russia's bottled whiskey import being slashed to half in 2022, between 11 and 12 million litres.
How much will Indian alcohol cost in Russia? A 0.75-litre bottle of Officer's Choice Blue whisky from rare Scotch malts and Indian grain spirits will cost between 1,000 and 1,200 rubles (approx. 1095-1314 INR), while Sterling Reserve premium blend will reportedly be priced between 1,100 to 1,500 rubles (approx. 1294-1642 dollars) per bottle.
With ABD's entry into the market, the shortage of whisky in Russia is likely to be alleviated, and consumers can expect to enjoy Indian-made spirits at competitive prices. It is uncertain how well ABD's products will be received in Russia and whether they will be able to capture a significant market share. However, this move marks an exciting opportunity for ABD to expand it is business and tap into a new market, while also potentially cementing India's position as a major player in the global whisky industry.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.