McDowell, Independent Liquor join hands for RTD segment

While Independent Liquor will help McDowell with significant knowledge transfer in the high-growth segment of RTD, McDowell in return will launch some of the leading brands of the New Zealand-based company into the Indian market.

McDowell wants to become a leader in the emerging RTD segment, say company officials. McDowell India entered the RTD segment last year with the launch of Shotz, a vodka-based beverage.

The officials say McDowell intends to increase RTD manufacturing capacity in its existing distilleries across India, with a unit already functioning in Goa and another one close to commissioning in Chandigarh. The company aims to set up 2 lakh-case monthly capacity for RTDs by this yearend.

The $200-million Independent Liquor is privately held and is considered as one of the leaders in RTD business in Australia and New Zealand, where it controls 35 per cent of the RTD market. The company's brands include Vodka Cruiser, Voodoo Majic, Havana Gold, KGB Vodka, Stinger, and Woodstock Bourbon.

McDowell & Co intends to bottle and market Cruiser, which is a fruit-flavoured vodka-based drink available in 21 exotic flavours, in India. This will be followed by products such as Havana Gold, which is a mix of white rum and coconut liqueur; Stinger, an alcoholic soda; and Woodstock, a bourbon cola drink.