McDowell's No.1

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McDowell's No.1
Product type Spirits, Bottled water, Soda
Owner United Spirits Limited (USL)
Country India
Introduced 1963-64
Tagline Mera No.1 (My No.1)

McDowell's No.1 is an Indian brand of spirits manufactured by United Spirits Limited (USL), a subsidiary of the United Breweries Group. It is USL's flagship brand[1] and the largest umbrella spirits brand in the world, comprising three categories - whisky, brandy and rum.[2][2] The brand also has bottled water[3] and soda.[4] The brand began with the launch of McDowell's No.1 Brandy in 1963-64.[5] The brand's slogan is Mera No.1 (My No.1).[6]

History[edit]

The McDowell's No.1 brand began with the launch of McDowell's No.1 Brandy in 1963-64 by McDowell and Company, a company that the United Breweries Group had acquired in 1951.[7] In 1959, owner Vittal Mallya established McDowell and Company's first distillery at Cherthala, Kerala on the banks of the Vembanad lake. McDowell's began bottling Bisquit Brandy and Dorville French Brandy, from imported concentrates. The company commissioned India's first ever distillation plant to produce extra neutral alcohol (ENA), with French collaboration, at Cherthala in 1961. McDowell's launched its own McDowell's No.1 Brandy in 1963-64, following the termination of the import contract for No.1 Bisquit Brandy. The brand created the template for the many "No. 1" brands that the company would launch later. The company launched McDowell's No.1 whisky in 1968, which went on to become USL's flagship brand. McDowell's No.1 Rum was launched in Celebration (Dark) and Caribbean (White) variants in 1990-91.[5][8]

The company was incorporated in the year 1999 as McDowell Sprits Ltd, and changed its name from McDowell Sprits Ltd to McDowell & Company Ltd on 1 April 2000. The company changed their name again to the current name United Spirits Limited (USL), with effect from 17 October 2006.[9] In 2000, Claessens International, a London-based design consulting firm, to revamp the bottle design and packaging of the entire McDowell's No.1 series. The company terminated its existing arrangement with Paul Simmons & Associates.[1] McDowell's No.1 whisky introduced a "guala" cap, restricting the easy flow of the liquor, in February 2002, replacing the earlier metal one. The name on the label was changed from "No. 1 McDowell" to "McDowell No.1". The shape of the bottle was also changed, with "shoulders" being incorporated instead of the previous flat look. The changes were designed by Cleassons.[10] In December 2004, the packaging of the 750ml pack of McDowell's No.1 whisky was changed to a 3 layered combination of MetPET (metalised PET) with a Polyester layer on either sides, which made the pack 100% tamper proof. Once opened the pack cannot be sealed again hence making counterfeiting impossible.[11]

Whisky[edit]

McDowell's No.1 Reserve Whisky was launched in 1968, and is a blend of imported scotch and Indian malt whiskies[12] McDowell's No.1 whisky is sold in several countries apart from India, including Africa, Canada, the Far East, Japan, the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates.[13][14]

McDowell's No.1 Diet Mate, which the company claims is the world's first diet whisky, is a variant of McDowell's No.1 whisky.[6] McDowell's No.1 Diet Mate was launched in 2006.[15] The product is aimed at calorie conscious customers. According to Ashok Capoor, chief operating officer of UB Spirits Division, the whisky contains Garcinia, a herb which has the ability to burn excess fat and control cholesterol levels in the human body. It is sold in pint, nip, quartz, and 750 ml bottles, at a cost 5% higher than McDowell's No.1 whisky. The product was initially launched in Mumbai and Thane in the first phase, but later expanded to other markets.[16] Debashish Shyam, then General Manager (Marketing) of UB Group Spirits Division, stated that "Diet Mate is not a low-calorie whisky but has ingredients that increase metabolism."[17]

McDowell's No.1 Platinum Whisky, a 100% grain-based blend,[18][19] developed by the Scottish master blender Richard Paterson was launched in March 2010. It sold over 30 million bottles in its maiden year.[20][21]

Rum[edit]

McDowell's No.1 Rum was launched in Celebration (Dark) and Caribbean (White) variants in 1990-91.[5][8] It is sold in 13 countries. USL claims that it is the second largest selling dark rum in the world and the largest selling rum in India, with a domestic market share of 45%.[8]

Brandy[edit]

McDowell's No.1 Brandy was launched in 1963-64, and was the first McDowell's No.1 branded product. The brand created the template for the many "No. 1" brands that the company would launch later. It is the largest selling brandy in the world by volume. It sold 4.6 million cases in 2004,[22] and 13.7 million cases in 2009.[23]

Sales[edit]

McDowell's No.1 is largest selling umbrella spirits brand in the world.[2][24] It sold over 13.5 million cases in 2003-04,[25] 6.07 million cases in 2005, and 8.65 million cases in 2006.[26] The McDowell's No.1 brand had sales of 27.5 million cases in 2007-08,[27] McDowell's No.1 sold 14.3 million cases of whisky, 13.8 million cases of rum and 11.7 million of brandy in 2010.[28]

McDowell's No.1 sold over 31.5 million cases in the 2008-09 fiscal. McDowell's No.1 Celebration Rum sold over 10 million cases becoming the world's third largest rum,[2] while McDowell's No.1 Brandy remained the world's largest-selling brandy with sales of nearly S million cases. McDowell's No.1 also displaced Amul as the largest FMCG brand in terms of retail value. McDowell's No 1 valued at US$ 1595 million features in the world listing of the top 100 distilled spirits brands by retail value.[24] The McDowell's No.1 brand achieved retail sales worth $3.8 billion in 2012-13, selling nearly half a billion 750 ml bottles of its whisky, rum and brandy, making the brand the largest alcoholic beverage franchise in India by volume and value.[29]

The following table shows the annual sales of McDowell's No.1:

Year Sales (in million cases)
Whisky Rum Brandy
2001-02 3.8[30]
2002-03 4[31]
2003-04 5.5[25]
2005 6.1[32]
2004 4.6[22]
2006 8.7[33] 6.2[34]
2007 11.5[33] 7.6[34]
2008 13.4[33] 9.7[35]
2009 13.5[33] 11.2[35] 13.7[23]
2010 14.3[33] 13.9[35]
2011 16.1[36] 15.6[35]
2012 19.5[36] 14 17.8[35]

Marketing[edit]

McDowell's No.1 is mainly advertised through Bollywood and cricket,[37] as well as sports and music events. The brand has associated itself with Bollywood films such as Devdas, Road, Kaante and Stumped, through its "Mera No 1 Entertainment" banner.[37]

On 21 August 2009, McDowell's No 1 announced a tie-up with Shillong Lajong F.C., the first team to qualify for the I-League 2009-2010 from North-East India.[38] McDowell's No.1 signed Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a three-year endorsement deal, worth INR26 crore (US$4.3 million), for McDowell's No 1 soda.[39]

McDowell's No.1 whisky releases special packs to commemorate Holi, Diwali and New Year. Since 2002, it has also released special packs for regional festivals like Baisakhi in Punjab, Carnival in Goa, and the Pujas in West Bengal. A Special Edition Cricket World Cup pack, a gold pack emblazoned with flags of all the 14 participating nations and a calendar of tournament fixtures, was released to commemorate the 2003 Cricket World Cup.[12] A limited edition of McDowell's No. 1 whisky featuring a glittering monocarton with hues of gold, burgundy and festive sparkles, specially created for Diwali was sold in Mumbai during the months of September and October 2009.[40]

McDowell's No.1 has sponsored several music concerts in India featuring artists such as Mark Knopfler,[4] Enrique Iglesias,[41][42] Elton John,[43] Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy,[44][45] Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Rajviani,[46] and Rabbi Shergill, Strings, Bombay Vikings, Shibani Kashyap, Abhijeet Sawant, Kailash Kher and Mika.[47]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d "United Spirits sales volumes up 20% in 2008-09". Business Line. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
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  4. ^ a b "Nokia to sponsor Mark Knopfler India concert". Indiantelevision.com. 2005-02-15. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
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  15. ^ Bhupta, Malini (2007-09-06). "The low-cal high". India Today. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
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  39. ^ Ratna Bhushan (2010-12-09). "Now, Dhoni inks Rs 29-crore endorsement deal with Maxx". The Economic Times. ET Bureau. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
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  41. ^ "Enrique LIVE!". The Hindu. 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  42. ^ "Enrique Iglesias to perform in India". ApunKaChoice.Com. 2004-04-11. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
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  47. ^ "McDowell’s associates with Brilliant Entertainment to launch 'Listen' - Indi-music platform". Indiantelevision.com. 2005-05-30. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 

External links[edit]