Assocham sees cheerful growth for foreign liquor

July 4th, 2012 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 4 (IANS) Spelling cheers for the liquor industry, a top industry group said Wednesday the sales of imported spirits, including the duty-free segment, are expected to exceed five million cases or 550 lakh litres by 2015.

In terms of revenues, the beverage market, currently estimated at around Rs.52,000 crore, is expected to nearly quadruple and touch Rs.2 lakh crore by 2015, a study released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) has said.

Currently, the market for imported spirits stands at around 3.10 million cases or 280 lakh litres and is growing at a compounded annual rate of 25 percent, a study entitled India’s Emerging Imported Spirits Market has said.

This market has huge scope for further growth, including in tier II and III cities, if stiff regulatory environment and state levies and high import tariffs are relaxed, the study has said.

The growth is largely driven by the spurt in tendency amid young Indian professionals and entrepreneurs to migrate from local to international brands, observed Assocham secretary-general D.S. Rawat.

Besides, with more Indians travelling abroad for professional or academic reasons, their fondness and taste for imported liquor is growing, which is leading to growth in the business, and they can afford to buy expensive spirits from duty-free shops, Rawat said.

Other factors contributing to the trend are rising income levels, increasing young population, growing number of working women, increasing media penetration and expanding exposure to western lifestyles amid people in the upper-middle income groups in India ,for whom serving expensive liquor reflects their lifestyle and status symbol, Rawat explained.

Citing India as one of the most significant growth drivers, various multinational liquor companies are likely to make huge investments in marketing, brand innovations, expanding new markets within India and managing their portfolios as per local needs, leading to increased opportunities here.

Simultaneously, the country’s wine consumption, which stood at 4.6 million litres in 2008, is likely to reach around 14.7 million litres by the end of 2012, a 35 percent growth in the past four years.

The Indian wine market is expected to generate good revenues, from Rs.800 crore in 2008 to a whopping Rs.2,700 crore by the end of this year.

Vodka, emerging as the starting drink of choice for youths in metros and tier II cities, is also showing a healthy annual growth of around 25 percent and is expected to touch 10.2 million cases by end-2012, the study said.

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