Chivas gets royal approval for new Prestige facility

Chivas Brothers’ new bottling facility for its highest value spirits was officially opened yesterday by Princess Anne in Paisley.

The Prestige Hall, which has been operational since last year and is part of Pernod Ricard’s £40m investment into Scotch production, is the point of assembly for the division’s most expensive and complexly designed scotch and gin products.

Among the products currently assembled there are Royal Salute – ranging from $100 to $200,000 bottles – and high-end expressions of Ballantines, Chivas Regal and Beefeater. 

Eric Benoist, international marketing director of Chivas Brothers, told Drinks International at the opening of the Hall that prestige products are a “big focus area for Pernod Ricard”.

He said: “There’s a softening of growth in the emerging markets but if you look at the medium term there is a lot of demand for prestige products from those markets.”

Alister McIntosh, manufacturing director of Chivas Brothers told Drinks International: “We really wanted to bring up the standard of the operation. You will see  faster lines [than in the Prestige Hall] but not with this level of complexity. 

“Packaging 30 years ago was really simple. [Now] consumers are demanding more complex packaging. New packaging is dual stream - it’s for anti-counterfeiting and the authenticity of the product.”

Asked whether the new facility would have the capacity to respond to heightened demand in the future, McIntosh said the two lines currently only operate during the day, 4-5 days a week.

“We could go seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We have built capacity to deal with [expected] demand over the next 2-3 years,” he said.