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Havana Club rum now bottled in India.

Havana Club white rum is now being bottled in Punjab under the supervision of Cuban experts, reports the Economic Times of India.

French global drinks giant Pernod Ricard in a joint venture with Cuba started rolling out the rum in the Indian market, priced at a 10% premium over arch-rival Bacardi.

Pernod Ricard India's vice-president, Bikram Basu, told the magazine that nothing is added to the bulk rum imported from Cuba.

The decks were finally cleared for the rum following a Cuban trade delegation's visit to India last May, when they pitched for rum and cigar imports.

Havana Club has hit Chandigarh, Goa and Haryana markets, priced at Rs 450 (about $10) per quart, and is readying a national footprint. The move is expected to shake up India's premium white rum market dominated by Bacardi, which entered India in 1998.

Cuba has been pushing for Havana Club's expansion into newer markets like India even as Bacardi came out with its own version of the brand made in Puerto Rico.

Pernod Ricard is now the trademark owner of Havana Club in India. Havana Club International, which spearheads the brand's international forays, is equally owned by CubaRon SA and Paris-based Pernod Ricard.
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Date:Oct 1, 2008
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