The notion that governments fundamentally do not support alcoholic beverages is widely held. But this notion needs to change as the AlcoBev industry is an important contributor to the state’s revenue. Excise taxes bring much money to the nation’s treasury. According to several different estimations, the contribution of the alcohol sector to India’s GDP is about 1.5 per cent. Excise revenue from alcohol contributes to a range of 25 – 40 % of the state’s own income.
After two previous years of muted festive celebrations, the 2022 festive season is seeming to show a buoyancy with higher sales in the FMCG industry and also has brought some cheer to the AlcoBev industry too in the country.
Historically, sales during the festival season have recorded good growth in India, peaking around late October and going on till March of next year. This year, there has been a surge in demand for premium products as the key alcohol companies continue toadvocate moderation in consumption and are encouraging consumers to opt for higher-value quality and higher-value products. India has been witnessing a retail changeover through a change in a route-to-market approach and the introduction of browsable outlets. As a result, there has been an organic growth of premium products that adhere to stringent quality protocols leading to a shift towards awareness and education around Responsible and Safe Drinking. Premiumisation is also encouraging moderate and responsible drinking.
During this period of celebrations, the AlcoBev industry is actively advocating Responsible Consumption and promoting the principle of ‘drink less, drink better’ through digital campaigns such as – Pace, Don’t Race, Road Safety Campaigns, etc. As an industry, it is important that leading companies in the AlcoBev sector lead responsible consumption messages to their consumers. Messages that encourage them to drink less, drink better simply put pace not race. A few simple and useful tips whilst making your festival purchases:
- Purchase alcoholic beverages from reliable and established vendors.
- Always ensure you have a receipt or another form of evidence of purchase.
- Be wary of bargains that seem too good to be true.
- Appropriately dispose of empty bottles.
- Report any products that seem questionable.
- Check for liquid colour and liquid level.
- Ensure that the top of the bottle is in good shape and has not been tampered with.
- Check that the brand name, artwork, and logos haven’t been misspelt.
While consumers need to remain vigilant to ensure that they are purchasing quality products, there is also a need for restaurants that offer wines and spirits to customers also tick all the boxes that consumers need to be aware. This is because there has been an increase in many people visiting restaurants in India for relaxation or business meetings and they do order a drink or two to be able to spend more time in conversations during the festive season. Customers are fully reliant on the restaurants to offer them the right product and, therefore, it becomes very important for restaurants to ensure that all the boxes are ticked.
Another important area that restaurants need to focus is on responsible drinking. They need to ensure that they in subtle ways drive the message of responsible drinking to customers. This will help in building strong awareness among a larger section of people on responsible consumption. Companies have through various means advocated responsible consumption and now strong partnerships need to be built between companies and restaurants to ensure that this message is conveyed in subtle ways to consumers.