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Indian imported spirits growing 25% yearly, says report

By Ankush Chibber , 30-Jul-2012

Indian spirit imports will soar to five million cases or 55m litres by 2015, says the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

According to India’s Emerging Imported Spirits Market, the market for imported spirits in India is expected to grow annually at about 25% from its current size of 28m litres and 3.1 million cases.

As per ASSOCHAM data, overall Indian liquor consumption is growing at about 30% annually, and is set to treble in the next three years from current levels of about 7bn litres.

Foreign appeal

“Growth of imported spirits in India is largely driven by the tendency among young Indian professionals and entrepreneurs to migrate from local brands to international brands,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general at ASSOCHAM.

According to Rawat, the shift is being spurred by greater numbers of Indians travelling abroad for study and other professional reasons.

“This is certainly leading to growth in the businesses as they acquire a taste for imported liquor and can afford to buy the expensive spirits from duty-free shops abroad,” said Rawat.

“Besides, growth in the sector has also been fuelled by rising income levels, an increasingly young population, growing numbers of working women and increasing media penetration,” he said.

However, Rawat warned the imported market would not reach its potential unless state and national tariffs were relaxed for bar and store sales.

Fresh investment

According to the study, various multinational liquor companies are set to invest heavily in marketing and brand innovations, and refine products targeted at local populations

“We are likely to witness accelerated levels of growth in sales of liquor in tier II and tier III cities as companies are focusing on retail channels like bars, restaurants and pub joints across these towns.”

“Apart from huge investments in infrastructure, supply chain, and bottling facilities, which will also open employment avenues.”

Wine, vodka

Wine consumption is likely to reach 14.7m litres by the end of 2012 from 4.6m litres in 2008, registering a growth of 35% over four years.

Vodka is growing at about 25% annually and is likely to reach about 10.2m cases by the end of 2012, as its youth appeal widens.

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