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NEW DELHI : The year-end festive holidays will witness 10-25% growth in alcobev sales across categories, industry insiders said.

Nao Spirits & Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which sells Greater Than and Hapusa gins, is expecting 25% more sales over the year- ago, while luxury goods LVMH-owned spirits major Moët Hennessy India, which makes Chandon Brut here as well as sells brands like Moët & Chandon, Glenmorangie and Belvedere vodka is expecting higher consumption this quarter over the same period in 2019. “We are already 35% over our 2019 numbers for this year for all our imported wines and spirits, mainly driven by Glenmorangie and Belvedere. We have had two very successful quarters this year and are expecting to see a similar trend during this quarter as a result of festivities and other celebrations. This will largely be driven by sales in the single malt, champagne and Chandon rose category," said Ipsita Das, managing director for the firm.

Hina Nagarajan, managing director and chief executive, Diageo India, maker of brands like Royal Challenge, Johnny Walker and Smirnoff, said it is witnessing consistent growth in demand across states, based on positive consumer trends and a revival in consumption, during the first full festive season post-covid.

“Apart from whisky, gin is growing really fast, with both international and Indian gins becoming popular among new consumers. Vodka as well as rum are making a come-back in select consumer segments and geographies. Gifting and on-trade and social consumption will drive strong growth this season," she added.

According to Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (India) (CIABC) the sector is witnessing a strong sales upswing, and is expected to clock 14-15% growth from the year earlier, and about 11% higher than FY20.

The industry body expects premium products, upwards of 1,000 per bottle, to grow at over 45% and the 500-1,000 a bottle products at over 20%, together accounting for 20% of total industry sales.

Mumbai’s Monika Alcobev Ltd, a supplier and distributor of alcohols, is seeing a big sales spike in super-premium spirits and expects to end December with 10 times more sales than any other month, driven by Hayman’s Gin, 1800 Tequila, Bushmills, Jose Cuervo, Templeton Rye and Lucifer’s Gold.

“We are seeing a surge this year compared to 2019, especially for premium, imported spirits and demand has grown by double digits," Kunal Patel, managing director, Monika Alcobev, said.

“This is the time when the spirit industry takes off. A lot of it is down to the festive season. North India specifically has better weather and we see an uptick in consumption," said Anand Virmani, co-founder, Nao Spirits.

CIABC is expecting healthy growth across India with some exceptions such as Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala and Delhi, where high prices and supply-side issues could dampen the spirits.

According to a study by Lancet, the alcohol market in India will grow 7% annually in the 2021-25 period.

Virmani of Nao said consumption in Delhi has been hit due to changes in the excise policy. However, Moet Hennessy expects some of its brands to be back in the Delhi-NCR market soon.

According to London-based drinks market analysis IWSR, India is poised to make strong spirits gains thanks to a booming economy, rising consumer incomes, post-pandemic market recovery and growth, and strong consumer confidence. It said as cost of living continue to rise, consumer confidence is starting to wane in several countries, especially in Europe and the UK.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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