It’s for those who want to have it large – from their peg to fun in life. Royal Stag, also known as Seagram’s Royal Stag, is India’s leading brand, positioned as a premium whisky with the brand’s slogan “It’s your life, make it large”. Royal Stag, owned by Pernod Ricard, and launched in 1995, is Ricard India’s best-selling brand. It is a blend of Indian grain spirits and imported Scotch malts. It is commonly available in 1L, 750ml, 375ml and 180ml bottles, and also in 90ml and 60ml bottles. The brand is named after a species of deer famous for its antlers. Royal Stag was launched in India with a product promise of “No Artificial Flavours”.
- Royal Stag is Pernod Ricard’s largest selling brand
- Second among Indian spirits brands in Impact International’s 2008 list of “Top 100 Brands at Retail Value”
- It’s among Pernod Ricard’s fi ve core brands that built its spirits business in India
- Within two years of its launch, Royal Stag sold 400,000 cases in India
BLAZE TO BRILLIANCE
Barely two years after its launch, Royal Stag sold around 400,000 cases in 1997. In the year 2000, the figure climbed to more than one million cases, making it only the second brand from a multinational liquor company to have achieved that sales figure. In the calendar year 2001, Royal Stag was selling over 125,000 cases per month and sold approximately 2.5 million cases in 2002. The brand’s annual sales during the 2004 calendar year crossed three million cases and increased to nearly four million cases in 2006. The sales have been on the rise ever since.
Royal Stag was ranked second among the Indian spirits brands in Impact International’s 2008 list of “Top 100 Brands at Retail Value” with a retail value of $505 million. The brand reported sales of eight million cases in 2009 and nearly 10.6 million cases in 2010. Royal Stag sold 12.3 million cases in 2011, toppling Absolut Vodka, to become Pernod Ricard’s largest selling brand in its global portfolio of alcoholic beverages.
ENGAGEMENT THAT ENTHRALS
Pernod Ricard had previously entered the Indian market by acquiring a 74 per cent stake in United Agencies Ltd (UAL), with a bottling facility in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. UAL was merged with Seagram’s Indian business and continued operations under the name Seagram Manufacturing Ltd. The decision to integrate UAL into Seagram was taken due to the latter’s larger operations in the country.
Pernod Ricard launched a premium version of Royal Stag, called Royal Stag Barrel Select in December 2011. United Kingdom-based consultants CARTILS developed the packaging and developed a marketing strategy for Barrel Select to differentiate the brand from Royal Stag. The Barrel Select bottle has a rectangular shape similar to Royal Stag and features the image of a stag.
Royal Stag is produced in several company-owned as well as bottlerowned distilleries. It does not use any artificial colour or flavour. Pernod Ricard has identified Royal Stag, along with Imperial Blue, Blenders Pride, Chivas Regal and 100 Pipers as the company’s five core brands to build on its spirits business in India.