Diageos plays in domestic spirits have not stretched to pisco. Yet.

Diageo's plays in domestic spirits have not stretched to pisco. Yet.

The head of Diageo’s operations in Chile and Peru has said the company would not rule out making a move into the countries’ domestic spirits markets.

While the drinks giant does not yet own a pisco brand in Latin America, recent acquistions in China, Turkey and neighbouring Brazil have highlighted a domestic spirit strategy in the world’s emerging markets. However, neither Chile nor Peru have been targeted in the pisco category, although the firm has looked at the sector.

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks, Alberto Gavazzi, the MD for West Latin America & Carribean, said that the company had not found anything suitable so far. “We looked at pisco in Peru and in Chile,” he said. “Frankly, we haven’t landed on anything that would make a material difference for us.

“We looked at it from two premises: Either the brand could be grown faster than the market is currently growing or expand it internationally, or it could give us a route-to-market access. We couldn’t find anything that brought these two things together for us.”

Gavazzi would not rule out a future move in the category, however. “I’m not saying that won’t change in the future,” he said, “but, right now, we’re not interested.

“There are many opportunities either in partnerships or brands that are out there,” Gavazzi added. “We did look at some brands that would give us the route-to-market access we wanted in some markets, but we found that most of them were just strong with wholesalers - that wouldn’t really change anything for us.

“We’d be more interested in a brand or company that has a strong distribution system that we could throw our portfolio on the back of.”

Diageo secured a distribution deal in Chile with Concha y Toro in 2009.