Champagne Indage plans image makeover

What really motivates people in India to consume alcohol… is it a tool for socialisation or is it a sure-fire way of getting high? An overwhelming majority, as per consumer studies conducted by Champagne Indage Ltd, the largest producer of wine in India, suggested it was the latter.

Champagne Indage had its task pretty much cut out. With a basket of wines – red, white and the sparkling variety – the company was hard pressed to find a formula to take wine to the Indian masses, given the perception that one does not get high with wine. Added to that was the elitist image that goes with wines such as champagne and the “costly drink perception’.
That is till we hit upon the idea of giving an apple-to-apple comparison on the price vs alcohol front. We decided to come out with red, white and sparkling wine at below Rs 100 and launched Vino at Rs 92 and a four per cent sales tax for 750 ml. With 12.5 per cent alcohol content, this compared favourably against some of India’s semi-premium whiskies at Rs 190 and a 20 per cent sales tax,” Ranjit Chougule, Managing Director, Champagne Indage Ltd, told Business Line.
Simultaneously, Champagne Indage is building its case against beer, with the popular strong beer, with eight per cent alcohol content, costing Rs 55 per 650 ml. Against this, the company has positioned the 500-ml Vino bottles at Rs 48. If stress is also on wine being a healthier drink, minus the potbelly in case of beer.
“It is a multi-pronged strategy with wine being made available in PET bottles for the first time and more significantly, the cork giving way to screwed on caps. It is a fallacy that corks allow the wine to `breathe’. World over, many wineries are turning to screw caps, including some of the most expensive wines from the French majors,” Chougule said.
The company will follow up Vino with an even lower priced wine, Hammer, in less than a month. A port wine, Hammer, will have an alcohol content of 18 per cent and will be priced at Rs 75.
Hammer, too will come in red, white and sparkling versions. Though port wine, normally, does not have the sparkling version, Hammer will have sparkling wine, that too in red, quite popular in Australia.
Champagne Indage, that had a sales of Rs 37.5 crore in the last fiscal, is looking to top Rs 80 crore this year with incremental growth coming from fresh products and extended varieties of existing products.
From Businessline,