Ever wondered if you could order a mug of beer along with a delicious meal via your favorite home delivery app? Having a house party and want to order spirits in bulk but cannot procure without a trip to the nearest alcohol shop? Despair not – alcohol delivery at your doorstep might become a reality at some point in time, if relaxations to regulations in certain states during the pandemic are any indication!
COVID-19 has led to a significant shift in the way in which alcohol is bought and consumed – such as growth in at-home consumption, acceleration of premium products and increasing product innovation beyond traditional whisky and beer to supply-led influences such as exponential growth of online delivery in other categories (70% inc. in GMV in 3 months during Wave-1), stay-at-home orders disallowing visits to liquor shops, govt. objective to control over-crowding at liquor shops post re-opening etc.
The above factors have laid the bedrock for emergence of a nascent e-commerce-led distribution model for alcobev. However, acceleration of this model will primarily be contingent upon state willingness to pilot e-commerce and retailer acceptability.
Traces of e-commerce in Indian alcobev
Alcobev in India has typically seen three primary channels – off-trade (liquor vends) comprising 70% of retail, on-premise (restaurants, bars) comprising 20% of retail and non-premise (events such as weddings, banquets) comprising 10% of retail. Prior to 2019, e-commerce in India was not allowed and comprised.