Indian Spirits Market: Trends & Opportunities (2012-2017)



Daedal Research

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The alcoholic drinks market is broadly classified into five classes including beers, wines, hard liquors, liqueurs and others. The Indian alcoholic beverages market has been growing rapidly for the last ten years, due to the positive impact of demographic trends and changes like rising income levels, changing age profile, changing lifestyles and reduction in beverage prices. 

This report focuses on spirits market of India, which includes vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy and gin. India is considered to be a lucrative unexplored destination for alcoholic drinks by several international companies operating in saturated alcoholic beverages markets of Europe and the US. India’s alcoholic beverage market has grown steadily in the last 5 years. It is the second largest market for spirits and has been growing at a CAGR of about 10% for last ten years. Growing urban population, increasing disposable income, changing social norms are the factors driving this growth in spirits market of India. 

The Indian scenario of alcohol industry is unlike the global pattern. In west, traditionally the consumption of beer and wine is high where as Indians are consumers of hard liquor like scotch and whiskey. Indians are considered to be pre ordained whiskey drinkers as it accounts for about 70% of the market. The Indian spirits market is also facing some challenges like regulation norms from government, environmental issues and other social factors influencing the society.

Although the spirits segment is very fragmented, with country liquor, IMFL and international players serving the market, about 86% of the market is catered by few major players like United Spirits Limited (USL), Radico, Jagatjit and Mohan Meakins. The market consists of five segments: whiskey, rum, vodka, brandy and gin. Whiskey has the largest market share in India. Some of the popular brands are Officer's Choice, McDowell's No.1, Bagpiper, Royal Stag, Old Tavern and Original Choice. The other emerging drink is Vodka which is marking its popularity among youth in metro cities and tier2 and tier3 cities as well. Brandy is an old spirit and is popular among aged group population of the country. 

Many international brands are coming to India through mergers, tie ups and acquisitions. Recently the world’s biggest brand Diageo announced a complex deal, which will see Diageo initially acquiring 27.4% stake in United Spirits for a medium term. Such mergers and acquisitions are expected to bring dynamic changes in the Indian liquor industry.