Even as inflation sullies consumers’ spirits, tipplers are on a high. In 2022, India overtook France to become the largest market of Scotch whisky by volumes. But it’s still just 2% of the country’s overall dark spirits market, and a potential 150% reduction of tariff burden under th-e UK-India free trade agreement could boost market access, the Scotch Whisky Association said. The market is projected to grow at an annualized 7% rate by 2026.

Companies are now tapping into consumer preferences to innovate, but Indians have been whisky guzzlers for long. “With India being the largest whisky-drinking nation worldwide, there is always scope for expansion and diversification within the category,” said Vijay Dev, category lead (whiskies) at Bacardi in India.

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