Indian company Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), which produces the world’s third-most-popular whisky, Officer’s Choice, is planning to enter the Russian market, according to business daily Kommersant.
Russian vodka manufacturer Alcohol Siberian Group (ASG) will be the sole distributor of two ABD brands, the Indian company announced on Tuesday.
ABD is eyeing the market share that was vacated after the departure of some Western brands, Kommersant said. The Indian company’s brands have not been marketed in Russia before.
According to the newspaper, deliveries of ABD products started in February. The contract is valid until October 2025, while the specific sales volume has not been agreed.
Officer’s Choice Blue whisky from rare Scotch malts and Indian grain spirits will reportedly cost between 1,000 and 1,200 rubles ($13-$16) for a 0.75-liter bottle. Sterling Reserve premium blend’s price in Russia will vary from 1,100 rubles to 1,500 rubles ($14-$20) per bottle.
Whisky has been the most affected type of alcohol in the Russian market as a result of Western trade restrictions. According to WineRetail estimates, bottled whisky imports have halved in 2022 to between 11 million and 12 million liters. Some brands, including Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniel’s, Bushmills, Jim Beam and White Horse were allowed for parallel import, and the number of their suppliers is growing. In addition, 36 new local whisky brands appeared in the market in the first nine months of 2022, according to analysis by NielsenIQ.
India produces 60% of the world’s whisky, with ABD exporting to more than 20 countries. The company’s revenue in the 2021 financial year exceeded $765 million.