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  • Retrograde Step by Andhra Pradesh State for Domestic Wine - Ahuja

    The AP State Govt has taken the most bizarre step of increasing VAT on domestic wines to 150% from

    70% in Jan 2013 while retaining VAT on BIO wines at 70%

    There can be no justification for such an ad-hoc and bizarre decision. The wine sales in AP have

    increased from 25,000 cases of 9 liters each in 2004 to over 150,000 cases of 9 liters in the year ended

    The only plausible rationale for such decision could be to generate more revenue from increasing sale

    of wine. The decision makers have possibly killed the golden goose while trying to get golden eggs. They

    have simply overlooked the elementary economics the demand and price co-relation elasticity of any

    product. I presume that just because the sales have increased they presumed that demand will continue

    to increase even if price is increased to unrealistic and unaffordable levels. The result is for all to see

    within a year. The sale of domestic wine has dropped to negligible levels in the current year.

    While most of the States in India are realizing the larger benefits to consumers from switching over to

    wine from hard liquor, AP State has taken this retrograde step.

    The leading wine producing and consuming State like Maharashtra levies an effective VAT of only 4% on

    domestic wine after taking into consideration the 16% refund to wineries, while charging 20% on BIO

    Karnatka on the other hand does not levy any VAT on domestic wines. The wine consumer friendly

    approach of Karnatka State has led to many new wineries being established who are giving good

    competition to wineries in Maharashtra, thus benefiting the consumers in offering more choice at good

    The wine industry also unfortunately also has not taken up the matter so vigorously with State Govt.

    The efforts are being made at individual levels by wine enthusiasts like Mr Kishan Pedhapally who made

    representations to concerned Govt. officials.

    We only hope that AP State will reconsider its policy on taxation on domestic wine and consider

    1. Reducing VAT on domestic wines to 20% from 150%.

    2. Rationalizing high label registration fee.

    3. Allowing new licences for wine and beer shops like Maharashtra State.

     

    for more information Contact Ahuja at onlywines@hotmail.com

     

    Posted Dec 16 2013, 04:55 PM by admin with no comments
    Filed under:
  • Licence from FSSAI/Changes in Customs Duty and Import Requirements of Bottled Wine - Ahuja

     

    Establishment of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India ( FSSAI)

    FSSAI has been established as a single authority by abolishing various other authorities under various Acts earlier for control on import and sale of Food Items.

    The FSSAI has established standards for bottled wine as under:

    Item

    Dry White wine

    Sweet White wine

    Dry Red wine

    Sweet Red wine

    Ethyl Alcohol v/v

    8 to 13

    10.5 to 15.5

    8 to 13

    10.5 to 15.5

    Reducing Sugar g/Lt

    5.5

    150

    5.5

    150

    pH

    3 to4

    3 to4

    3 to4

    3 to4

    Total Acids as Tartaric Acids g/Lt

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    Volatile Acids as Acetic Acids g/Lt

    1.0

    1.0

    1.0

    1.0

    Total Sulphur Dioxide mg/Lt

    150

    150

    150

    150

    Free Sulphur mg/Lt

    50

    50

    50

    50

    Copper mg/Lt

    5

    5

    5

    5

    Iron mg/Lt

    15

    15

    15

    15

    Extracts g/Lt

    50

    50

    50

    50

    Tannins g/Lt

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

     

    Licence from FSSAI

    All importers of wine are required to be registered with FSSAI by online filing of application forms with relevant details.

    Only registered importers will be allowed to import wine.

    Samples: FSSAI has established laboratories or made arrangements with reputed laboratories for testing of samples drawn from imported consignments.

    Changes in Customs Duty:

    It is proposed to abolish 4% Special Duty on bottled wine thus effectively reducing the duty from 161.5% to 151%. This change is proposed with effect from 1st June 2012. However this waiver of 4% Special Duty is applicable for sale in the State where importers have VAT registrations and also if the importer is registered with Department of Standards of Weights & Measures.

    for more details contact
    Ahuja
    onlywines@hotmail.com

    Posted Nov 15 2013, 05:04 PM by admin with 1 comment(s)
    Filed under: ,
  • 9 Points to consider as an approach to the Indian market - Beverage Trade Network

    India offered to cut customs duties on wines and spirits from the European Union to 40 per cent from the present 150 per cent, at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development summit in Paris.

    Attention Liquor, Beer and Wine Companies! This is an excellent moment to enter the Indian Market. The offer was huge, compared to India's earlier proposal to cut the Customs duty to 80 per cent. It would mean up to a 73-percentage-point cut in India's Customs duty. India also proposed to cut the entry price per bottle of wine to $3.70 and whisky to $5.50.

    for more details.... please click here http://beveragetradenetwork.com/en/9-points-to-consider-as-an-approach-to-the-indian-market-329.htm
  • Abhay Kewadkar plans for UB’s wine wing to be number 1 in India - Moneycontrol

    Despite reeling under a Rs 7,000-crore debt burden, the Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits  (USL) is managing to keep its spirits high, thanks partly to the heady growth of its wines division.

    Having sold 70,000 cases last fiscal, it has already carved a niche as India's second largest wine-maker after Sula. And now, the company is now thirsting for the top spot.

    Abhay Kewadkar, business head, wines, USL, "Starting this year, we plan to increase our volumes by up to 2.5 times. In three-to-five years, we plan to be No. 1 in terms of market share in India."

    Wines currently generate Rs 150 crore in revenues annually. But over the next ten years USL expects it to contribute 15-20% to total revenues. And to achieve this, it has a two-pronged strategy - launching premium labels and value labels in the export market.

    More: Moneycontrol.com

  • Wine legislation in the making, India – The Times of India

    That Indian wine on your table will soon be tastier, more authentic and healthier once India gets its wine legislation or wine laws.

    Carbonated wines which are passed off as sparkling wines, artificial wines produced from imported wine concentrates and the use of table grapes for wine production will be prohibited once the legislation is in place. Domestic producers will have to bring out wine using a variety of grapes of 'vitis vinifera', as is done in other countries, instead of table grapes, thus helping the consumer know the true type of wine paid for.

    Pune-based Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB), set up under the ministry of food processing industries, is in the process of drafting the wine legislation for India. The board recently became a member of the Paris based Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV), a UN-modeled international agency formed to help member nations improve grapes and wine production on scientific lines.

    More: The Times of India

  • Alcoholic beverage market booming in India – Business Standard

    The overall liquor consumption in India is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30 per cent and is likely to reach 20,000 million litre in the next three years, from the current level of 7,000 million litre. This is revealed in a study titled ‘India’s emerging imported spirits market,’ released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

    Besides, in terms of revenue, the alcoholic beverage market is currently estimated at about Rs 52,000 crore and is likely to reach Rs 2 lakh crore during the course of the next three years.

    Also, wine consumption in India is likely to reach around 14.7 million litre (in volume terms) by the end of 2012 from 4.6 million litres in 2008, registering a growth of 35 per cent, the study said. According to the study, the Indian wine market stood at Rs. 800 crore in 2008 and is likely to touch Rs. 2700 crore by the end of this year.

    More: Business Standard

  • 25% Indians choose holiday destination according to food – India Today

    Women leave men behind in almost all gastronomic forays such as going on wine trails.

    As TripAdvisor Indian informs us, at least a third of the outbound Indians go on a wine or whisky trail when they are on holiday abroad, 40 per cent of them have attended a well-known food or beverage festival (such as Oktoberfest), and, wait a minute, 25 per cent of them select their holiday destinations according to the food they have to offer.

    Well, this is empirical data, and not surprising, coming as it does in the wake of Euromonitor data that shows Indians spend $60 billion annually on eating out.

    The survey, conducted online among 1,000 respondents, also reflects a dramatic change in the way we eat out when we are on holiday - a negligible 14 per cent said they go to an Indian restaurant when they travel abroad. In contrast, 64 per cent said they go to quaint local eateries and not tourist favourites.

    More: more at: India Today

  • Pro Food Pro Pack 2012 promoted Indian wines in Sri Lanka – Asian Tribune

    The ‘Pro Food Pro Pack 2012’ held from 6-8 July 2012 at BMICH Colombo provided a platform to around 45 participating Indian companies to showcase their wide range of agro and food products to the Sri Lankan public and business community.

    There was strong buyer interest in the Indian products such as wine, fresh fruits like mango, pomegranate, apples from Kashmir and Himachal, table honey, ready-to-eat snack foods, pulps, fruit juices, health foods, curry paste and fresh ginger.

    APEDA pavilion was adjudged the best pavilion in the international category at the “Pro Food Pro Pack 2012”.

    The visitors to the exhibition had a special opportunity to sample premium Indian wines from seven wine companies from India, namely, M/s John Distilliers, M/s Chataeu ‘d Ori, M/s Renaissance Winery Pvt. Ltd., M/s Nashik Vinters Pvt. Ltd., M/s Vintage Wines Pvt. Ltd., M/s Vallonne Vineyards Pvt. Ltd. and M/s Valle De Vin Pvt. Ltd. The Indian companies were encouraged by the interest shown in the good quality Indian wines and noticed the potential demand for sweet wines / dessert wines in Sri Lanka.

    High Commission of India in association with APEDA, All India Wine Producers Association and Taj Samudra Colombo also organized a function “Appreciating Indian Wines” at the Hotel Taj Samudra in the evening of 8th July 2012 which was graced by Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India and attended by representatives from Sri Lankan tourism and hospitality sector like hotels, restaurants, prominent chambers of commerce and industry, government officials from concerned departments and private sector companies.

    India produces more than 13.5 million litres of wine annually and the Indian wine industry, according to Business Chamber Assocham, growing at a rate of 35% is expected to reach turnover of INR 2700 crores in 2012. Indian wines are fast developing a reputation in the world market.

    More: Asian Tribune

  • Bar license fee is much less than Retail shop license fee, Hyderabad – The Times of India

    In a city like Hyderabad, the licence fee for a bar is Rs 38 lakh, while a retail liquor shop has to pay Rs 1.04 crore to obtain the same. "Apart from the huge disparity in licence fees, the reduction of daily business hours by an hour-and-a-half will result in a loss of 60 working days in a business year," said D Venakteswara Rao, president of the wine merchants' association for the twin cities.

    More: The Times of India

  • Wine investment in India – Business Review India

    Robin Khanna, owner and founder of Bordeaux Traders, a fine wine investment brokerage in Vienna, recently opened an office in Mumbai. He speaks about the changing wine situation in the country.

    Investing in wine is recession proof; and that is because some of the most renowned wines, like from some select chateaux in Bordeaux, are very limited in supply. These vineyards make only a few thousand cases; and as soon as a bottle is opened, the quantity gets reduced. So while the supply reduces, the demand is high. If it is a good harvest, the demand is tremendous. For our investors we have one golden rule: buy low and sell high, as we are able to find very rare wines at good prices due to our deep connections in Bordeaux.

    Q: Speaking of investing in wine, who you think in India is ready for it?

    Robin: Initially it will start with some high net worth individuals (HNIs). As the idea gains popularity and people will see how profitable it is, other private investors will also feel encouraged to join in. From there, I think it can spread wider.

    Q: Do factors like high import duties for wine become a problem for Indian investors?

    Robin: Well, that doesn’t have any effect because the wine is physically not brought to India. The fine wines in which we invest are in Europe.

    However, if the import duties are lowered, it will be beneficial. Hong Kong earlier had high import duties and taxes. After they were abolished, demand exploded, and Hong Kong became a wine trading hub.

    More: Business review India

  • Wine chromatography lab, Pune, India – The Times Of India

    Indian Grape Processing Board (IGPB) plans to set up a high-tech wine analysis laboratory in Pune, Maharashtra, with a view to enforce the latest wine legislation that will come into force across the country. The proposed laboratory will be in line with latest international standards and all wineries will have to obtain a certificate of compliance from it. The estimated cost of the lab is Rs 10 crore.

    Indian Grape Processing Board chairman Jagdish Holkar, said, "The lab will be part of an institute the IGPB is planning to set up here. The analytical lab will basically be a 'wine chromatography lab' and will involve wine analysis using various processes such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, among others, helping us identify the contents of a wine. This will help in evaluating whether a wine meets the global standards."

    More: The Times of India

  • Changes in Customs Duty and Import Requirements of Bottled Wine - Ahuja

    Changes in Customs Duty and Import Requirements of Bottled Wine

    Establishment of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India ( FSSAI)

    FSSAI has been established as a single authority by abolishing various other authorities under various Acts earlier for control on import and sale of Food Items.

    The FSSAI has established standards for bottled wine as under:

    Item

    Dry White wine

    Sweet White wine

    Dry Red wine

    Sweet Red wine

    Ethyl Alcohol v/v

    8 to 13

    10.5 to 15.5

    8 to 13

    10.5 to 15.5

    Reducing Sugar g/Lt

    5.5

    150

    5.5

    150

    pH

    3 to4

    3 to4

    3 to4

    3 to4

    Total Acids as Tartaric Acids g/Lt

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    6 to 15

    Volatile Acids as Acetic Acids g/Lt

    1.0

    1.0

    1.0

    1.0

    Total Sulphur Dioxide mg/Lt

    150

    150

    150

    150

    Free Sulphur mg/Lt

    50

    50

    50

    50

    Copper mg/Lt

    5

    5

    5

    5

    Iron mg/Lt

    15

    15

    15

    15

    Extracts g/Lt

    50

    50

    50

    50

    Tannins g/Lt

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0

    3.0


    Licence from FSSAI

    All importers of wine are required to be registered with FSSAI by online filing of application forms with relevant details.


    Only registered importers will be allowed to import wine.


    Samples: FSSAI has established laboratories or made arrangements with reputed laboratories for testing of samples drawn from imported consignments.


    Changes in Customs Duty:


    It is proposed to abolish 4% Special Duty on bottled wine thus effectively reducing the duty from 161.5% to 151%. This change is proposed with effect from 1st June 2012. However this waiver of 4% Special Duty is applicable for sale in the State where importers have VAT registrations and also if the importer is registered with Department of Standards of Weights & Measures.

    for more details please contact

    Ahuja onlywines@hotmail.co​m

    Posted Jun 08 2012, 03:17 PM by admin with no comments
    Filed under:
  • S p e c i a l f e a t u r e Indian Liquor Industry - A Tryst with Time


    Liquor Industry is the proverbial wayward wife who everyone loves to hate but cannot do without it. The industry also happens to be the last relic of the by-gone “license raj” saddled with plethora of rules and regulations and therefore problems and complications. Critical legal and social dynamics in the industry is discussed as under:

    Ban on direct advertising –
    Liquor and alcoholic products in India are banned from direct advertising. Due to the unfortunate social stigma attached with the concept of drinking and the overall non-acceptance towards the thought of advocating consumption of alcoholic beverages, contrary to the cultural and social structures prevailing in western countries, the government has been forced to ban direct propaganda and advertising of liquor and alcoholic products. The alcoholic products are, as a result, advertised by surrogatory method, i.e., via some other products. This makes it difficult to advertise and establish the products amongst the masses and especially to establish and launch new products/brands.

    Excise regulations and Licenses –
    Production of liquor and alcoholic products requires to pass through strict regulations in the forms of licenses and permits, without which one cannot initiate production. Further, interstate transfers are very difficult due to stricter regulations and permits and higher excise duty levies. Hence, the manufacturer is forced to enter into an agreement for “tie-up”/ lease arrangement with different manufacturing units in different parts of the Country, since establishing a new manufactory in every state would not be practical and cost-effective solution. In such kind of tie-ups, difficulties arise because though the brands and products belong to the manufacturing units, the license is in the name of the Lessor. Hence, all the licenses and compliances are to be complied by the Lessor. The sales proceeds are also deposited in his name.

    Hence, in view of such arrangements, many a times the manufacturing company has to bear the brunt of non-compliances on the part of the Lessor. The deposit amounts and the sales proceeds of the manufacturing units also get held up with the Lessor when there arises dispute between both the parties. Hence, avoidable loss is sustained by the manufacturing units when their working capital gets blocked in such a manner, and remains blocked at the mercy of the seemingly endless litigations.

    Infringement and passing off –
    Once any brand/product attains popularity in the market and establishes itself, other smaller units manufacturing duplicates and thirds, try to encash on the goodwill and reputation of those products by using the brands which are similar to the popular brands. They adopt the similar name or design or label and produce cheaper products in the same category and try to make profits by selling the same in the market by virtue of the goodwill and reputation established by the original popular brands. Since the original manufacturer has already taken efforts to popularize his brands, he is forced to approach the Courts for taking action against the infringer and for stopping him from producing the said brands. The position assumes serious and complicated dimension when unscrupulous fly-bynight operations register look-alike, sound-alike labels in foreign countries and carry on their shady business forcing the original manufacturer to go for a series of litigation in foreign soil for a pretty long period.

    Winding-up cases –
    Taking advantage of the provisions in the Indian Companies Act, false and frivolous claims are cooked up against the Company and winding up petitions are filed for recovery of such cooked up claims, which actually is an abuse of the process of law. Though the Companies are in sound financial positions, irrespective of the fact, winding up petitions are filed on the pretext of claims and recovery thereof, when actually a civil action is to be initiated in such situations. Cost of stamp duty being very minimal at just Rs.200/-, this strategy is mainly adopted to tarnish the image of the Company, which is very unfortunate, as the monetary limit for filing a winding up petition against any Company is a claim Rs.500 and above, which enables all and sundry to initiate a action of such magnitude .

    Dispute with Distributors –
    In many cases, promotion and distribution responsibilities are given to the distributors by the manufacturing Companies who by abrogation of the understanding in the agreement resort to raising debit notes on the basis of false or inflated claims which ultimately leads to litigation.

    Statutory and Labour Disputes
    Due to bad management practices followed by the Lessor units, there will be strike “go slow” by the workers or due to non-compliance of some statutory requirements and stoppage of work, the MGQ clause gets affected leading to a perpetuating litigation.

    Willful non-compliance with the agreement
    It is also observed that there are quite a few cases where there will be willful violation of the agreement by different players, knowing fully well that it will take years and years for the manufacturer to get his grievances redressed in the present long drawn legal process. In fact, it is frequently overheard in the industry that “when a case by escalation to the highest court can take more than 10 years, where is the hurry to settle the case by paying-off, even the bonafide payments due to the manufacturers?”

    Non-Disclosure Agreement with Employees –
    The liquor industry being a small and a close-ended one, the critical manpower keep moving from one Company to the other and sometimes to the competitors. In such a situation, protecting the trade secrets and the Blend from the competitors is the real challenge and most of the Companies have stringent Non-Disclosure Agreement signed with their employees; but since the documentary evidence of proof of violation and passing-off of such information becomes difficult to establish, the matter leads to endless and futile litigation.


    About the Writer -
    Dr Keshab Nandy is the Executive Senior Vice President & Chief Vigilance Officer at Tilaknagar Industries Ltd, Mumbai. He has been felicitated by different bodies and institutions. Also have received commendations and awards including the prestigious Quality Culture Award at the World Quality Congress, New Delhi in December, 2002. He is also empanelled as National Resource Person on Quality by the Quality Institute of India, New Delhi for his works on Quality excellence through innovative HR practices.

    He has been awarded Doctorate in Management for his significant work on achieving quality excellence through value-stream mapping by innovative HR practices. At present he is holding the position of Director in the Board of Directors of M/s Prag Ltd.,Hyderabad, Director in the Board of Directors of M/S Surya Organics Ltd.,Bangalore and he is the Chairman of the Expert Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.







  • India gets a taste for wine!


    India’s wine consumption is rapidly increasing and is forecasted to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 27 per cent from 2010-12. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for wine consumption on the global map.

    With a population base of over 1.1 billion, the consumption of wine is extremely low, indicating vast potential for future growth. Besides low consumption level, various other factors such as increasing disposable income, amplified wine marketing and influence of western cultures have given a new turn to the wine consumption pattern in India.

    The Indian Wine market is largely dominated by domestically produced wine and imports account for a less share in the total consumption. The sales of domestic wines will continue to dominate the Indian wine market over the forecast period, but high growth will also be seen in the consumption of imported wine. The consumption of imported wines will rise at a CAGR of around 33 per cent during 2010-2012, well above the industry’s overall growth.

    The wine market in India today is still in its nascent stage. The industry is just over one million cases of wines manufactured in India and 0.15 to 0.2 million cases of imported wines. The value of the Indian wine market is around 2 per cent of the total alcohol beverage industry. A lot needs to be done in terms of education, awareness and demystifying wine as a product.

    The scenario is changing rapidly: A large number of Indians have the right consumer profile to embrace wine as a lifestyle beverage. Once the privilege of the educated elite, today potential lies among the growing middle-class who enjoying increasing disposable income, tourism and women consumers.

    The rise in consumption can also be attributed to factors including the perception of health benefits produced by wine, the fact that wine is lower in alcohol than spirits, in addition to the ‘lifestyle’ image. India is switching from whiskey to wine and beer. Also big retail chains in certain states are now allowed to sell wines.

    More and more people are drinking wine, every new restaurant that opens in the cites has a wine list, and awareness is growing fast. Women are drinking in much bigger numbers, and often their first choice beverage is wine. The movies reflect this change, with Bollywood actresses routinely seen drinking wine! The wine consumption is expected to grow at a rate of 30 per cent in the next 10 y ars. This growth is not only sustainable, but could even be conservative if duties were lowered. In the next ten years the wine consumption could reach more then 10 million cases. Cheers!

    Presently most of the imported wine come from France, Italy, Australia, Chile, USA, South Africa and New Zealand. France has the biggest market share of approximately 40 per cent followed by Italy (15%) and Australia (12%).

    Up to 80 per cent of wine is consumed in the major Indian cities: Mumbai (39%), Delhi (23%), Bengaluru (9%) and the foreign tourist dominated state of Goa (9%), the remaining 20 per cent are sold in the rest of India. The Red wine consumption is pegged at 45 per cent followed by white wine with 40per cent sparkling wine 13 per cent and Rosé wine by two per cent.

    http://www.ambrosiaindia.com

  • S p e c i a l f e a t u r e - The Indian Alcobev consumer



    As India globalises the Indian consumer is evolving. Although the Indian alcobev industry is regulated, the efforts to woo the consumer continues unabated. A report.

    A recent study released by the BMI India Retail Report for the third quarter of 2010, forecasts that total retail sales will grow from $353 billion in 2010 to $543.2 billion by 2014.

    But the big question is how much of this is translated to the alcobev industry. In India, where the mantra for the alcobev industry is produce but don’t sell, building brands is a challenge. With curbs in opening of retail shops, prohibitions in some states, monopoly retail practices in major drinking states, high taxation and curbs on MRP is a nightmare for all marketers. But increasing personal wealth, an apparent trend amongst consumers towards increasing personal consumption expenditure and improved retail infrastructure in the country could provide the perfect fillip for alcobev companies. Retail outlets like Godrej Nature’s Basket, Living Liquidz and Metro hope to change the face of alcobev retailing.

    While pricing is a major factor with the low-end IMFL brands constituting the bulk of the alcohol, thus confirming India’s status as a price sensitive market. In recent times, companies have been making efforts to introduce premium products in an effort to improve the retail value of their brands and to boost profits.

    While traditional companies still resort to the push strategy, MNCs have effectively demonstrated that the pull strategy can be equally effective.

    However due to the huge distribution clout enjoyed by some, the implications of retail store loyalty cannot be discounted. Some retailers who resort to stocking only a single company brands due to reasons of rising inventory costs, costs of stockkeeping units and shelf space constraints, the possibility of losing the entire business of these consumers is also a possibility. The pattern of loyalty may enable the retail store to carefully pick its merchandise and stock keeping units in line with the preferences of loyal customers.

    Promotions or MRP-led offers have boosted sales but sometimes wafer thin margins offer little leeway for such marketing activities. However it can be said that retailers who identify and formulate loyalty-driving consumption strategies with their customers at a category level will sustain their success rather than those who attract one-time MRP-only led promotions.

    Globally there has been a sea change in consumer behaviour. Consumers are drinking better but less. This has been attributed to health concerns. The recessionary trends has also prompted people to drink at home rather than bars and restaurants. People earning less are increasing their beer consumption and are opting for cheaper branded alcoholic drinks.

    According to a Just-Drinks report, over the next 10 years, 1.2bn people in Asia- Pacific will be born into or move into the global middle class, representing the largest single expansion in consumer spending power ever recorded.

    Using unique flavours and ingredients has become a focus area for differentiating products and adding perceived value, as they can enhance a drink’s positioning of authenticity, heritage, quality, or exclusivity.

    Consumers increasingly want to know the story behind a brand, as part of the discovery that sets them apart from others and giving them ‘insider’ status into a perceived exclusive world.

    The popularity of liquor within the duty free retail environment has been illustrated with recent research conducted by the Generation Group, termed the TREND Beverage Index, which measures actual sales through the cash registers, found that global duty free and travel retail sales of liquor have advanced 0.9 per cent in comparison to the same time last year.

    The report also noted that there will be an increase in demand for healthier, lighter, whiter and mixed drinks as consumer preferences of the younger market, and the increasing female drinking market, are felt through duty free sales. They also reckon that approximately 80 per cent of wine and spirits consumers buying decisions are made before getting to the store. Price is now primary to the buying decisions of 87 per cent of consumers, followed by "a product I like" by 84 per cent of consumers.

    Liquor marketers are also optimistic liquor sales in the travel retail channel can be doubled in value over the next five years. Most reckon that in response to the downturn in global travel, duty free sales have experienced growth. The continued expansion of the market will require innovation, imagination and investment to sustain these increases in consumer preference for duty free liquor.

    India’s already huge, growing and evolving consumer population is the focus of attention for all marketers of liquor and wine. Although 80 per cent of India’s nearly 1.3 billion population follows Hinduism, with alcohol strictly forbidden in Orthodox Hindu society especially during fasting days. However with globalisation the western way of life has begun to influence and alter alcohol consumption patterns.

    Growing consumer demand had helped fuel huge growth in this nascent wine industry in the last few years. But during the global recession in 2008 and 2009,domestic consumers began to reduce their wine purchases. This is particularly due to increasing wine taxes in key markets such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Goa, thus increasing the retail price of wine.

    However, a Data Monitor report suggests that for the most part, alcohol consumption remained an area in which Indian consumers appeared to not significantly trade down their preferences; desiring to still have their “affordable luxuries”. While many consumers continue to enjoy their preferred alcoholic drinks, a large majority is looking at the value of a product relative to its cost and is watchful of the amount they are spending. Despite this, consumer habit and brand continue to have a large influence on alcohol purchases, affecting almost one-third of those who consume alcohol. While there has been an overall decrease in brand loyalty among the consumer market, the presence of private label alcohol in India remains quite low. India’s expanding middle class is also one of the fastest growing in the world and predicted to reach 583 million in 2025. By 2015, the number of people added to the alcohol drinking age population will be 45 million.

    The food and drink market is one of the fastest growing segments of India’s retail industry. Howeever India is geographically diverse, with different resources and living standards spread across the country’s 28 states. With excise duties and rules differing in each state it is often said that marketing in India is like marketing in 28 different countries.

    However 72 per cent of India’s population currently resides in rural communities, but it is projected that 40 percent of the total population is projected to be living in urban locations by 2025. Accordingly, urban consumers represent a more realistic target market for Alcobev, processed and imported food items.

    India is one of the fastest growing markets for alcoholic drinks in the world, with a CAGR of more than 9% during 2010-2013. In India, religion plays a large role in consumer eating habits, with wine and liquor being no exception. While it is considered to be a forbidden, taboo drink for the greater society. Consumers’ tastes for different types of food and beverages have also been evolving and there has been a move away from traditional beverages toward fine wines, beers and spirits.

    The Indian alcobev industry which is now a sellers market with easy access to wide variety of brands has had changed buying behaviour of consumers, who are now clearly seeking “value” over “price”. Sociologically, the country has undergone a sea change. Lifestyles have changed drastically. Today, youngsters are drinking when them deem fit and to suit their lifestyle. Social drinking among women is also on the rise and sometimes pubs are more frequented by women than men. .

    A highly regulated environment and limited retailing opportunities in the alcobev industry is unfortunately restricting the growth of the industry. Consumer seek more and more information on products and services and in absence of a communication platform the industry faces a major handicap. But with time if the industry can consolidate itself especially the MNCs and create a revenue model to sustain their activities the future is definitely bright.

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