Posted: Wednesday, 19 April 2023 18:06
Delhi Excise crosses Last year’s Revenues
Although premium liquor brands are slowly becoming popular in the capital, Bacchus lovers in Delhi prefer to buy Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) priced up to Rs 1,000 for their consumption, according to a report by TOI.
The industry estimates that 85% of the total sale of spirits – whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, wine etc – comprises products in the price band of Rs 180 to Rs 999. While Scotch’s share in the consumption of spirits is roughly around 7-8%, whiskies from Ireland and Japan, Indian single malt, gin, vodka, wine, and ready-to-drink alco-beverages comprise the remaining 7-8% of the total sale.
Last year, Delhi consumed nearly 15 million cases (nine litres each) of IMFL while beer registered a sluggish sales of 9.5 lakh (7.8 liter each) cases. Experts believe the IMFL sale increased by around 30% over 2021. Beer, which, experts said, sells around 13 lakh cases each year, sold less due to supply issues.
According to International Spirits and Wine Association of India (ISWAI) CEO Nita Kapoor, “The majority of people still buy reasonably priced 180ml and 360ml bottles of Indian whiskey. The bulk of the business comes from this segment,” Kapoor said, adding the lion’s share in the growth of consumption in 2022 over 2021 was also registered in the same segment.
While making a switch from the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22 to the old regime in September last year with four government corporations taking over the retail business in the city, Delhi government had planned to open 700 shops by December 2022. However, it could open 483 in December; the number has now reached 573.
“Even with just 483 shops, 30% growth was registered in sales. The government should go back to the time when it had 849 outlets to realise the full potential of growth,” Kapoor said.
While the sale of spirits increased, beer, the most favoured alcoholic drink in summer, registered a downfall, said Vinod Giri, director general, Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIBC). According to Giri, Delhi consumes around 13 million cases of beer every year, which fell down to just 9.5 lakh in 2022. “The demand was high as always but there were issues with supply,” said Giri.
Though Indian-made premium whiskies such as single malt are slowly becoming popular across the country, Giri said its growth in Delhi was not reflective of its potential. “When the short-lived new excise policy was in force, the registration of both foreign and Indian whiskies was the same and a lot of new brands were sold in the capital. In the old excise regime, there is a huge difference in the registration fee and that’s why Indian brands stay away from Delhi,” said Giri.
Kapoor, meanwhile, said that the government should open more “browsable” outlets in the capital (the kind so prevalent in Gurgaon now-editor), which are hygienic, have transparent pricing and are safer for women to improve the customer experience.