It's always about attracting the new age consumers with what their likes and dislikes are, said Vijay Dev, Category Lead- Global Whiskies, Bacardi while speaking about the key to sustain the business via Dewar’s Stay Curious HQ-like experiences.
He further explained how NH7 Weekender has already pioneered that game and drives premium-ness in the market.
“Experiential marketing is where you connect the brand with the consumer because that's where you actually bring the brand alive. It’s a peek into what the brand is about,” Dev said.
Speaking of the industry as a whole, overall spirits as a category is growing at a steady pace but scotch specifically is growing too, according to him. “We have grown 80-85 percent in 2022, which is a big one for us.”
Another shifting consumer trend he noticed is people are going for low alcohol. Ready-to-drink gives the freedom to the consumer to pick any flavour and have it with their favourite whiskey.
Dev highlighted, “Consumers are experimenting a lot with different flavours because earlier, speaking of just whiskey, it was made with soda or water. But in Spain, Coke is the biggest mixer used. In India too, people love to mix their drink with Ginger Ale or even Jimmy’s.”
Further, expenditures are growing this festive season across consumer touchpoints, Dev mentioned. ”We are doing anything and everything to keep the momentum of the brand and keep it in culture, that's why the experiential things like Dewar’s HQ are happening.”
Speaking of the rapid emergence of many new brands that make the competition stiff, Dev believes it's good from a consumer-first perspective as well as for the industry. “The more brands that come in, the more choices are for the consumers. And only good brands survive for long. This elevates the current brands who have been there for long and also allows new entrants to offer different choices of drinks.”
Moreover, the acceptance of liquor has also gone up in recent times. There was a time when speaking of liquor in a family gathering was only a discussion for men to make. But now, families are more open and accepting of liquor choices regardless of gender and age.
“Our brand comes with a legacy and has to keep up to pace with the consumer because they are the ones who are going to create demand. We are doing whatever we can from our end to do the same,” said Dev.
The emergence of the internet, accessibility to information, and openness to new things he believes. Generational gaps and younger parents are other reasons why alcoholic drinks are way more well–accepted in Indian families.
From being a taboo, drinking has become a lifestyle choice and that’s where Bacardi is trying to enrol consumers into different categories.
The Dewar’s Stay Curious HQ was one of Bacardi’s plans to bring forward the experiences for consumers. “Gone are the days where companies used to tell what they want, they rather have to now listen to their consumers and address that need or innovate accordingly.”
Hence the brand is keeping up with our consumer needs and trying to get better with their branding and packaging in the near future.