Gin maker Nao Spirits forays into premium rum biz

    Gin maker Nao Spirits forays into premium rum biz

    New Delhi: Gin-maker Nao Spirits and Beverages Pvt. Ltd has forayed into premium rums with Pipa-Rum de Goa. The spiced rum, priced at 3,000, will initially be available in Goa, and will subsequently be marketed in other states, the company backed by United Spirits, said.

    The company’s co-founder and chief executive, Anand Virmani told Mint that the decision to enter the rum category was driven by India’s status as the world’s leading sugarcane producer. Brown spirits dominate the Indian market, comprising 97% of the spirits segment, with rum contributing 12.5%. But the majority of products is in the mass-produced value segment.

    The standard and premium segments, relatively untapped, are set to grow (on a small base) 46.5% and 21.1%, respectively, between 2022 and 2027, as per IWSR, a drinks consultancy.

    “Premium spirits remain an urban market. At the moment, the premium rum segment is under-penetrated largely with imported rums. We are working on ours for three years,” he said. Initially, the capacity will be limited (400 cases) to test the market, and 10% of it will be exported, he added. “In the premium spirits segment, there is demand for authentic stories, and Indians are willing to experiment with new category and brands.”

    Set up in 2017, Nao caught Diageo’s attention in 2022. It bought 22.5% share in Nao for 32 crore.

    He said India’s gin industry has grown from 12,000 cases in 2017 to about 320,000 cases now. Of this, Nao claims to sell a third or 100,000 cases a year. Virmani said the company could break even by FY24 end. It markets gins under Greater Than and Hapusa brands, available across most states in India. For FY24, Nao may clock net revenue of 40 crore, he said. It competes with Samsara pink gin Jaisalmer gin and Stranger and Sons.

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