India’s wine drinkers are young, outward-looking and keen to learn – so long as they can find affordable wine to buy
India is an enigmatic and rapidly changing nation. On the one hand, it is a land of opportunity, a country of over one billion people, nearly half a billion above the legal drinking age, boasting a young demographic that’s open to experiment. On the other hand, India’s AlcoBev industry is shackled by cripplingly high taxes and a dense regulatory system of antiquated laws. In this paradox lies significant future opportunity for the wine industry.
In this first edition of India Landscapes, Wine Intelligence has collaborated with Sonal Holland MW and her 2nd edition of India Wine Insider 2018, to find out more about the wine market, consumption behaviours, attitudes and relationships with wine in India. The report is the result of our first-ever Vinitrac® India survey.
Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that the wine market is still in its infancy – a fact demonstrated by the lack of knowledge about varietals, regions and countries of wine among regular drinkers of both domestic and imported wine. Yet, the wine consumer’s profile is changing compared to previous years, showing there is potential for growth in the Indian wine category.
One of the key developments documented in this report is that, for the first time in India’s AlcoBev industry, female wine drinkers in India are on par with their male counterparts in terms of consumption frequency, propensity to spend on a bottle and attitudes towards wine drinking in general.
Another key finding is that Millennials are embracing wine as a part of a broad repertoire of beverage consumption, which is on par with the global trend of consumers having a wider range of beverage consumption. However, there is a strong consensus among the trade that these drinkers are choosing to drink wine more often than in previous years, showing that they are turning to wine more often. In fact, 86% of Indian Millennial drinkers are more likely than older drinkers to experiment with new and different wine styles on a regular basis.
Despite the desire to experiment, Millennial consumers are still showing a preference towards Indian still and sparkling wine alongside spirits. This is on par with the rest of the Indian regular wine drinkers, but many of those Millennials interviewed in focus groups expressed a desire to increase their wine knowledge and expand the country of origins they consume.
These drinkers are also the most frequent drinkers in the on-trade, generally spending more than most on wine. Most Millennial drinkers do not find the process of ordering wine in a restaurant a daunting experience; although, there is frustration that wine does not receive the same service that other alcoholic beverages, in particular whiskey, receive.
In addition to looking at Millennial drinkers, the report also highlights the following key findings:
- The Indian wine market had experienced steady volume growth, but volume has recently declined whilst value has increased, due to a shift towards both imported and higher end domestic wine
- Domestically produced wine has a greater reach in the market, whilst imports are seen as being of a greater quality. Although, this perception is narrowing
- Indian wine drinkers are primarily brand focused buyers, due to a lack of experience with the category
- On- and off-trade channels developing through the opening of more specialised and wine focused retailers, bars and restaurants
For more information about the India Landscapes 2018 report please contact Ben Luker.
Author: Ben Luker
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