Vodka enjoys a large market share in India. The clear distilled alcoholic beverage is very popular due to its unique neutral taste that lends itself well to blending with chasers and other flavourings. It is equally delicious on the rocks as it is in a buzzy, refreshing cocktail. The traditional way of making vodka is by fermenting cereal grains and potatoes. Although the beverage originated in Poland, Russia, and Sweden, many countries are taking advantage of the production opportunities, including India. In conversation with FinancialExpress.com Varna Bhat – Founder & CEO of Blisswater Industries Private Limited (parent company of Rahasya Vodka) talked about Indian alco-bev market, trends and more.
How are Indian Alco-Bev brands making its global footmark even stronger than before?
Homegrown alco-bev brands are being very well received by the Indian audiences. And given that Indians are more exposed to global experiences, their aspirations are also more global now. We are also able to create unique products that appeal to a more global audience and hence, we see more brands expanding overseas. Uniqueness and very importantly quality of product are the two big strengths in new age alco-bev brands making a global name.
What’s your take on the ever-increasing demand for home-grown brands in the Alco-Bev sector?
The new Indian consumer takes pride in what is Indian, not just in terms of being manufactured in India but something that speaks of India in its identity. We are now opening up to appreciate products made and inspired by our country. Any craft spirit that can live by the promise of quality and innovation is being well received now in India, as consumers like to experience something exclusive and understand how to appreciate it as well.
Do you think drinking behavior has changed amidst and post-pandemic? What kind of change is it?
Ancient civilizations till now drinking is a part of who we are as people and different levels of evolution have taken up in drinking too as we have evolved through time. Pandemic was phenomenon too has had some effects on this how long it lasts remains to be seen but some notable changes in behaviour are – more openness to drinking at home and amidst family members in some cases, further reduction of considering alcohol a taboo, research on brands before purchase with time at hand, an increased fondness for small size group parties and also marked increase in home mixologists like home chefs
What is the latest development in the vodka drinking world? What are the latest vodka trends needed to be part of?
India has traditionally been a market for beer and whiskey, but over the last few years it has opened. White spirits are gaining a lot of traction, and it is great to see Indians being open to try out more different innovations in beverages, especially Craft spirits. Consumption of vodka in India is either on the rocks, mixed with water or Soda or in cocktails now infusions in vodka are being well received.
What kind of presence does vodka have in India? What are the main brands and how is this spirit drunk?
There are several international vodka brands in India, and it is a very popular spirit – especially as a great cocktail companion. India has traditionally been a market for beer and whiskey, but over the last few years it has opened. White spirits are gaining a lot of traction, and it is great to see Indians being open to try out more different innovations in beverages.