Shoba Narayan on increasing wine and spirits consumption in India despite the challenges of taxes and duties
When it comes to wine and spirits in India, the same two narratives have held sway over the last ten years, which, when you think about it, is rather sad. The first narrative is optimistic and has to do with consumption. The headline is basically “more.” More Indians are drinking, more are willing to spend more money on higher quality drinks. A report from IMARC says that the Indian wine market reached a size of US$ 164.1 million in 2022. And it shows no signs of slowing. A report from Technavio says that India’s wine market is expected to grow at 30% year-on-year. If you believe these reports, and even if you half the growth rate, it seems pretty robust — for all the usual reasons. India has a young population with 500 million consumers at or above drinking age. Combine this with low penetration rates — Indians drink a miniscule 24 million litres of wine annually, as per a government report. All this is music to purveyors of fine wines and spirits, particularly since China’s walls are closing.
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