Constellation also wants to ramp up its wine in China

Constellation also wants to ramp up its wine in China

Constellation Brands is ramping up its Svedka vodka footprint in Asia as it seeks to double its business in the region over the next three years.

The company, which launched Svedka in India yesterday (12 February), will roll out its flagship spirits brand in Vietnam before the end of the year. The move is part of an expansion in Asia that will also see the beer, wine and spirits group focus on growing its wine business in China, Constellation's Asia head, Jake Jacob, has told just-drinks.

“In terms of wine development, we are going all out in China,” Jacob said yesterday.

Jacob, who is Constellation's VP for Asia, said that his target is to double the Asia business by February 2016. The ramp-up, which started 12 months ago, has already seen Constellation launch Svedka in South Korea. Trial shipments to Vietnam are now already under way, while the firm plans to take the vodka to Japan and Taiwan before the end of the year.

“It will be transformational for the business,” he said.

Asked if there are plans to launch Svedka in China, Jacob said: “Yes there are, but it is not one of our top-tier countries. We think there is still time in China so we are biding our time from a vodka perspective.”

Yesterday's launch in New Dehli marked Svedka's first entry into the Indian marketplace, through a distribution deal with Mohan Brothers.

Svedka is the number two imported vodka in the US, and Jacob said he plans to make it the number three in the Indian market within the next five years. Absolut is the imported vodka market leader in both the US and India.

Svedka will be available in both the on- and off-premise, retailing in the latter at INR1,530 (US$24.50) per bottle.