Chivas Brothers’ CEO, Jean-Etienne Gourgues, has stated that the UK-India free trade agreement could double the size of the Scotch whisky market within five years, by eliminating the 150% import tax on whisky.
Gourgues emphasized the significant potential for innovation in the prestige and luxury whiskies sector, where Scotch whisky is well-positioned, especially considering the large number of Indian whisky brands in the market. Gourgues stated that Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal would be the main focus in India, with the first innovation to come from Ballantine’s Finest, followed by Chivas and Royal Salute. Chivas Brothers’ North American business saw a 6% sales increase, while emerging markets like Brazil and Mexico, along with India and Korea, saw significant growth.
Gourgues also expressed concerns about the potential impact of Scotland’s proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising and promotion, particularly on local communities and tourism. Supply chain disruption, the cost of freight, and the energy crisis were identified as the biggest challenges facing the company. Chivas Brothers is implementing initiatives to reduce its energy consumption across its distilleries, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2026.