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British Report Pessimist about Indian Wine Market

Posted: Tuesday, 02 April 2013 10:43

British Report Pessimist about Indian Wine Market

April 02: In what appeared to be an April Fools' Day gag, a news item published by DBR online on April 1, credits a Study by a UK based market survey firm-Canadean estimating the annual growth of the Indian wine market at a mere 5% between 2011-16. But if the Report was serious, it seems to have serious flaws either in the methodology or the data collected, reacts Subhash Arora who wonders if the basis of reportage is authentic and verified based on scientifically collected information

‘The performance of Indian wine market in the next five years may not be as good as what it was between 2006 and 2011’, finds the new survey by UK-based research firm Canadean. According to the report the summary of which was is published yesterday in Drink Business Review  'The Future of the Wine Market in India, to 2016', the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of India's wine industry during 2011-16 period is expected to be 5%, compared to 7.56% posted in the review period.’

‘The wine consumption in 2011 rose by 44% over 2006 figures, while the survey estimates for 2016 are pegged at about 27.4% over 2011.’

‘The slow-down in growth rate has reflected similarly among the industry's segments, including still wine and sparkling wine. Fortified wine, however, is yet to penetrate in the Indian market’, according to Canadean.

According to the survey, ‘still wine retains the monopoly in the country's vast wine market with a consistent share from 2006 through 2016. With little more than 70% share in 2006 and 2011, the still wine market is likely to continue the momentum until 2016 with a steady performance. Sparkling wine has accounted for the remaining share of the Indian wine market in both review and forecast periods.’ (In simple arithmetic terms-30%-editor)

There is no other information in the news report of DBR which suggests you click the link suggested by them   for more information. This takes you to the Canadean website.

The page does not give much information except telling you that this Report may be purchased at $875 (Rs.50,000).

Before our British loyalists start giving a pat for the excellent job done by an organisation in the West (and hence it would be the gospel truth, they would argue), which cannot be anything but scientific, one needs to have another look at the scant information supplied.


Before passing any comment, I must admit that it is not clear if the figures are based on value or volumes. It is assumed that the survey is for the whole wine segment including imported wines and low-end wines and not restricted to some particular segment.

The report apparently has taken into consideration the massive nose dive the Indian wine market took during the recession period within the  2006-2011 and still maintaining an average 7.5% growth (CAGR). During the normal years, the growth has been estimated by most stakeholders at 20% (conservatives) to 35% (liberals)  during each of the growth years, barring the recession period.

The report clearly indicates the market for sparkling wine at 30%. This appears to be an absolute myth and needs hard data to prove the point. This itself should be able to trash the report for anyone interested in the Indian market and looking for creditable information.

The Report also talks of ‘still wine retains the monopoly in the country's vast wine market with a consistent share from 2006 through 2016. Firstly, 70% would hardly be a monopoly. Most countries have more than 70% of wines as still wines- the numbers are generally closer to 90%. However, it would be curious to see how the researchers define India as a ‘vast wine market’. One would like them to disclose the numbers before asking the prospective buyers to shell out Rs. 50,000 and find out how vast it is. (OK-I will throw in my numbers; a measly 2 million cases all kinds of wines including imported - for a population of 1.2 billion!)

Fortified wine consumption is negligible, according to the Survey. Out of an estimated consumption of 2 million cases of total wine, the fortified wine actually consists of over 800,000 cases (40%). This is the biggest segment of the market –of wine made by using indigenous grapes (but grapes are grapes!) and fortified with certified neutral alcohol. Selling at Rs 80-200 a bottle, these wines often called as Goan Parts, Ports, Goana, Nashik Port or by any other names, are big sellers in Goa, Maharashtra and South India and North East. In fact, four of the Top Five wine producers in India are fortified wine producers, trailing the leader Sula. Those who have heard the names of Vinícola and Tonia (Goa), Heritage and Golconda know that these are all 100,000+ case fortified wine producers.

To skip the whole segment and wish it away as ‘negligible’ is simply irresponsible and inaccurate. Of course, the report is implicitly talking about Port, Madeira and Sherry etc fortified wines which in fact are negligible in India in terms of consumption (they may be produced only in the specified areas in Portugal and Spain). But how it can categorize this production in a non-wine segment when it is made from grapes, needs to be clarified.

It would be worth their while for the Drinks Business Review to look into the report and explore the methodology and the source of data collection and then clarify its readers  the details. It might be even better if it can convince Canadean to show its hand. It is a universally known fact that In India the data collection system is still imperfect, practically non- existent. Whatever the relevant information is available, it is quite expensive and still can be faulty in more ways than one-the wine trade can throw the light better.

Earlier Report  

Remote- controlled surveys or some shoddy outsourced market research firm might have given them incorrect  and adulterated information, The market survey based company had published another report last October which was carried by DBR earlier, in October 2012 which was also reported  by delWine with similar comments  

Apart from some reported aspects which appeared rather fantastic, it went on to say in the summary that sparkling wine held 40.3% of the market- even higher than the current report  which estimates 30%- this implies that there has been a reduction in the share of sparkling wines by over 10% within 6 months. For Indians used to Reports costing nothing, and finding $875, the previous Report cost a hefty $7498 (Rs.400,000).

For those who believe in forming marketing strategy based on such reports need to take a few deep breaths and ask Canadean for the assumptions and share with delWine. We would stand  to be corrected and apologize for challenging the accuracy of these Reports. But till then… it is not so pessimistic!!

Subhash Arora



Federico Castellucci Says:

Great article, as always, Subhash ! Federico Castellucci DG OIV

Posted @ April 08, 2013 16:60


Subhash Arora Says:

I hope you are right, and it IS a joke, Alok. But they wont be asking $875 if it were a joke. Subhash Arora

Posted @ April 02, 2013 17:02


Alok Chandra Says:

Spot-on, Subhash - the DBR report seems to either be an April Fool's joke, or else someone is playing the fool. I estimate that total wine sales in India in 2012/13 were 2.35 million cases (23% growth) - this included 330,000 cs of imports, 926,000 cs of domestic premium wines, and 1.1 million cases of 'cheap' ad-mix wines. Volumes are forecast to grow to 5.7 million cases by 2017-18 - a CAGR of 19%.

Posted @ April 02, 2013 16:35


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