The sale of alcohol touched a four-year high in 2022 rising 12 per cent to 388 million cases as compared to 2021, a report in the Economic Times (ET) said. The demand in all major segments like rum, gin, vodka, whisky and brandy increased.

“In India, there has never been an issue from a demand point of view but it has suffered in the past due to either supply issues, change in taxation or route-to-market models. In 2022, we did not see any major supply side disruptions which helped sales momentum,” Vinod Giri, president, of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies, told ET.

The rise was the sharpest in premium products with their portfolio now accounting for a fifth of all the whisky sold in India.

“Consumers are experimenting and even white spirits are growing strong. We see the premiumisation story and growth as quite robust and are confident that the fundamental growth trend will continue. Even in pessimistic markets like the UK, we are not seeing a slowdown in alcohol sales and premiumisation,” Hina Nagarajan, managing director at United Spirits, was quoted in the report as saying.

This has led to even the domestic brand launching costlier products.

The sales of whisky and rum rose 11 per cent each in 2022. For rum and vodka, the sales rose by 18 and 25 per cent, respectively. Gin sales rose 65 per cent, the report added.

The in-home consumption of alcohol rose during the pandemic in India. However, since the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the sales have risen to pre-pandemic levels in bars and restaurants.

Moreover, according to Hindustan Times (HT), 350 new liquor stores have been opened in New Delhi since September 1, when the 2020-21 excise policy came into force. The target was to open 700 stores. At present, the city has 566 liquor stores. According to the excise department, Delhi sees the sale of 1.2-1.3 million bottles every day.

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