ecoSPIRITS announced that it has signed a Licensed Operator Agreement for India with Third Eye Distillery, a leading local craft spirits producer known for their award-winning Stranger & Sons Gin. The parties will launch closed loop service progressively across the country in 2022, starting in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka in February. The new partnership will bring low waste, low carbon spirits packaging technology to one of the world’s most populous countries, and the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States.
Home to almost 1.4 billion people, India is one of the most important, and fastest growing, consumer markets in the world. In recent years, the market for premium and craft spirits has begun to evolve quickly, fueled by the emergence of craft cocktail bars, proudly ‘Made in India’ craft spirits producers, and a young, affluent consumer demographic with an interest in quality, provenance and brand. Given India’s size, and status as a developing economy, the country is a critical piece in the climate change solution puzzle. There are some promising signs on this front: at COP26, the United Nations climate conference taking place in Glasgow this month, the Indian Government made a series of new pledges, including to reduce India’s carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030 and to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2070.
Founded in 2018, Sakshi Saigal, Rahul Mehra and Vidur Gupta set up Third Eye Distillery and transformed the spirits landscape in India by launching the first Indian Gin in the premium space. They were the first to explore contemporary style Gins in India with their flagship brand, Stranger & Sons that received international accolades and connected with a global audience. The trio chose Goa with its diverse expanse of spice farms as the location for their distillery where they innovate and explore new extensions to create quality homegrown products. Third Eye Distillery pioneered sustainable practices right from its inception with the distillation of the spirit to their most recent partnership with ecoSPIRITS to provide a revolutionary platform for the Indian spirits industry.
“We’re extremely excited to be the exclusive partners for ecoSPIRITS in India. We look forward to pioneering the sustainability movement in the Indian spirits landscape by bringing this platform to India and making it available to all spirits brands, imported and homegrown. We believe ecoSPIRITS will be a game-changer in moving the Indian spirits market towards a zero net carbon trajectory and helping the country achieve its sustainability goals. We are thrilled to work with brands to make this closed-loop distribution model accessible to all.” – Rahul Mehra, Co-founder, Third Eye Distillery
“India is a market that is close to my heart, having lived there for two years earlier in my career. It is also one of the most challenging markets in the world for independent and imported spirits brands. To be able to bring the sustainability and commercial benefits of ecoSPIRITS in one of my favourite places is a highlight. Given India’s size as both a consumer market and contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, it is a strategic market for ecoSPIRITS. We are excited to get started reducing single use glass there with such capable partners.” – Paul Gabie, CEO, ecoSPIRITS
Stranger & Sons Gin, Third Eye Distillery’s flagship product, is India’s leading craft gin by volume. Launched in 2018 and produced in Goa, Stranger & Sons Gin was conceived to celebrate the agricultural diversity and abundance of India and its love affair with spices. It captures the spirit of India, in a spirit from India that is produced with nine botanicals from local Goan farms, markets and spice vendors. Now exported to Singapore, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand and the UAE, Stranger & Sons Gin has picked up a host of international awards, including being declared one of the 8 best gins in the world in 2020 by the International Wine & Spirit Competition to winning the highest honours at The Asian Spirits Masters 2021 and their most recent Gold medal at the Gin Masters 2021. With the launch of ecoSPIRITS in India, Stranger & Sons Gin will become the first Indian spirit to be available in low waste packaging format.
The launch of closed loop service in India will also make the market more accessible and sustainable for imported premium spirits, a well-known challenge in the industry. ecoSPIRITS India will participate in the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program, which grants a wide range of spirit brands and their importers, distributors and wholesalers with access to our global closed loop network. Plantation Rum, the world’s number one super premium rum brand and an ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner since 2019, will become the first imported spirit available in India in ecoTOTE™ format. This transition will make Plantation Rum the most sustainable premium rum offering in the Indian market. With the packaging waste and transport cost savings of the ecoSPIRITS system, Plantation Rum will be available at a reduced on-trade price point, making it more accessible to the Indian bar community.
“We, at Plantation Rum, are delighted starting off this new collaboration with ecoSPIRITS and Third Eye Distillery in a very important and rapidly growing consumer market like India. We are convinced that the future of our industry will be driven by projects like ecoSPIRITS. This sustainable initiative echoes our values and actions talk louder than words with us. For this reason, our distillery, West Indies Rum Distillery, will become the first zero-carbon footprint distillery in Barbados by 2030. Collaborating with ecoSPIRITS completes this engagement.” – Angélique Jullienne, Global Marketing and Communication Director for Maison Ferrand
ecoPLANT No. 023 will be commissioned at Third Eye Distillery’s existing Goa facility, initially providing closed loop processing for the entire India channel network. Additional ecoPLANTS are planned as the national distribution network develops over time. The Third Eye Distillery team will bring substantial Indian regulatory, licensing and spirits production expertise to the new Licensed Operator partnership. Like all ecoSPIRITS Licensed Operators, they will receive comprehensive support from the ecoSPIRITS closed loop engineering team.
As in other markets, ecoSPIRITS will work closely with leading hospitality operators in India, helping them reduce their single use waste and making premium spirits more affordable for house pours and cocktail lists.
“As an entrepreneur with multiple ventures in the hospitality industry, I’m concerned about the environment and am excited to work towards a sustainable future. This partnership gives us a platform to champion the sustainability movement. Providing spirits in ecoTOTE™ format will indeed help us reduce the environmental impact of our operations and be the perfect solution for reducing our carbon footprint!” – Rakshay Dhariwal, Managing Director, Pass Code Hospitality
“This is a ground-breaking opportunity that takes us one step closer to ending single use glass and other associated packaging material through a closed loop system! I’m extremely excited about how this will enable hospitality teams to serve spirits in a socially responsible manner and I’m eager to see the impact it’s going to have on our industry in the long run as well.” – Sameer Seth, Founder & CEO, Hunger Inc.
ecoSPIRITS closed loop service will be available in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka from February 2022.