PHILIPPINES – Diageo Philippines, a unit of Diageo Plc, has divested its cocktail mixer brand Island Mixers to the Keepers Holdings, Inc., the liquor importation and distribution business of Lucio Co, for an undisclosed sum.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Keepers said Island Mixers is a non-alcoholic cocktail mixer used for gin, vodka, tequila, and rum cocktails and is considering expanding the brand beyond the current Lime variant into other mixing flavors and categories.

“The growing alcohol beverage industry and diverse spirits portfolio of The Keepers makes Island Mixers a fitting addition to its cocktail mixers lineup,” the firm said.

For the first nine months of 2022, Keepers had a strong sales performance from all categories (imported wine, spirits, and specialty beverages) resulting in a 49.7 percent jump in consolidated net income to P1.6 billion (US$29m).

Consolidated revenues amounted to P8.95 billion (US$160m), a 34.9 percent growth versus the `previous year on the back of a 26 percent growth in the volume of cases sold to more than 3.3 million cases for the first nine months of 2022.

The company attributed the strong performance to the continued robust performance of Alfonso, the leading imported brand in the market, which has already surpassed its pre-pandemic levels, premiumizing market, and on-premise channel rebound.

Pernod Ricard plans to automate Indian production to enhance capabilities

Meanwhile, French spirits major Pernod Ricard plans to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities through automation to increase productivity in India and achieve stellar growth in sales.

Gagandeep Sethi, Vice-President of Manufacturing, Pernod Ricard India, averred that the company is looking at mechanizing layout changes, debottlenecking and other applications of robotics.

 “We are looking into opportunities of automating to take productivity numbers to levels not previously seen in the spirits industry,” he said.

Pernod Ricard aims to not only deliver products that are superior in quality but also use technologies like artificial intelligence to ensure safety and behavior management, Sethi noted.

In addition, the company is on a digital transformation journey and is working with configuring partners to make a majority of its plants’ lighthouse factories.

Pernod Ricard sees a new trend in consumer behavior as many of them are shifting to premium drinks, offering a huge runway in the Indian market.

“There has been a shift in consumer behavior, premiumization is gaining interest as discretionary spending is increasing in the country. Consumers are also experimenting beyond traditional whiskies and are now showing an increased interest in tequila, gin, and ready-to-drink alcohol beverages,” Sethi said.

The sales of its premium drinks last year grew 26 percent and the company is projecting further growth at a CAGR of 17 percent year-on-year, according to Sethi.

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