May 14: Victoria-based Barokes Wines has become the first Australian producer to launch canned wine in India during the pandemic last year through Mumbai based Hover Barrel LLP, thus making it perhaps the first canned wine import, says the Australian Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for South Asia, Stuart Rees, according to Austrade and reported by Subhash Arora who feels it should have a reasonably good market for the younger consumers, if the quality is as good as claimed
Betting on wine retail in India
Palash Vaswani, CEO and partner of Hover Barrel LLP, which imports wine cans from the Australian brand Barokes and sells them in Mumbai and Bengaluru, says that Barokes has been positioned in the premium category, with each 250ml can priced at Rs. 600 in Bengaluru and Rs. 675 in Mumbai (equivalent to Rs. 1800 and Rs. 2025 a standard bottle of 750 mL).
Barokes Wines is a global leader in canned wine and has won over 400 medals and is known for its slim, aluminium cans around the world. Five varieties of Barokes canned wine are currently available-including three sparkling wines-white, rosé and red as well as a Cabernet-Shiraz-Merlot red and a Chardonnay-Semillon white blend.
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Greg Stokes, one of the innovative Australian vintners focused on canned wines and sold 30,000 cans of Iron Bridge Cabernet Shiraz in Australia in 1998. He then teamed up with Steve Barics to form Barokes Wines based in South Melbourne. They spent nine years developing and patenting the Vinsafe canning technology, which assures stability of premium varietal wines and a shelf life of at least five years. Their 250 ml. cans are distributed in Asia, Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. India has now joined the list of importing nations.
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The concept of canned wine is relatively new to India. Sula Vineyards had introduced 2 variants of Dia last year at SulaFest 2020 a couple of months before the Covid-19 Lockdown. Fratelli launched 5 variants (4 in TILT and one in NOI in September last year, followed by Good Drop Cellars which has been also experimenting with sparkling wines in the cans. With the young millennials who are not really wine-educated and are perhaps more comfortable with beer-in-cans, are primarily the target market though some claim it would cover a wider spectrum of consumers in the years to come.
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The company’s patented process Vinsafe is presumably able to preserve wine stability and longevity for up to five years.
According to Austrade, the key market segment for wine is dominated by the ‘on-trade’ hospitality sector in India .On-trade sales accounted for 70% of the wine sold in India prior to the pandemic, according to Euromonitor International (2020), Wine in India – Country Report September 2020-which is highly debatable by delWine-editor.
Sourced by Austrade from Euromonitor International (2020), Wine in India – Country Report (September 2020),
Overall, wine sales in India are growing fast. Annual growth rates exceeded 10% per year from 2013 to 2019, according to Euromonitor. Sales are expected to grow by approximately 8% per year to 2024.
Austrade helped Barokes Wines into India, including an introduction to Mumbai-based importer, Hover Barrel LLP.
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The Australia–India Business Exchange
Meanwhile, stung by its biggest export market China last year, Australians have been regrouping their resources and aiming to increase the market share of Australian wines in several Asian countries including India. They put their money where their mouth is and are very focused in their approach. Austrade has launched a program called the Australia-India Business Exchange to help increase trade and investment between Australian and India which provides insights, advice, and business connections to grow two-way trade and investment between Australia and India.
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