During the festive fervor of Christmas and New Year, alcohol sales skyrocketed, with some industry players witnessing over 20 per cent surge in demand compared to the previous year. India indulged in a variety of alcoholic beverages, and even increasingly leaned towards premium products.

In the spirit of holidays, alcohol sales across the country surged. For instance Delhi clocked a 14 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth in December with sales of 4.56 crore bottles. State-run Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL) outlets in Karnataka sold liquor worth ₹18.85 crore on December 31, an increase of ₹4.34 crore as compared to the sales of ₹14.51 crore on the same day of the previous year.

Similarly, on New Year’s Eve, reportedly, the Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited (APSBCL) sold alcohol for ₹147 crore, which is two times more than it typically does in a single day. Hyderabad reportedly, in the last three days of 2023, saw sales of 4.76 lakh cases of liquor of various kinds and 6.31 lakh cases of beer worth ₹658 crore.

Increased momentum

Industry players witnessed increased momentum this year, in comparison to the same period last year. Jagatjit Industries clocked a growth rate of 18-20 per cent during the holiday season, resulting in Y-o-Y growth of 23 per cent for the October-December 2023 period. Tilaknagar Industries volume-growth over the holiday season saw growth in excess of 10 per cent over last year.

The Beer Cafe chain’s sales volume during the holiday season experienced approximately a 25 per cent increase compared to the holiday season in 2022. Similarly, homegrown beer brand Lone Wolf too said it saw a surge in sales volume, with a growth rate of over 200 per cent compared to the same period last year. United Spirits-backed craft gin maker NAO Spirits said it saw a year-on-year increase of nearly 100 per cent in secondary sales.

Devender Gulia, Director, Sales and Marketing, Jagatjit Industries Limited noted, “During holiday seasons in India, people are filled with festive spirits embracing joy and celebration. The alcobev industry also experiences a surge in demand as people indulge in festive spending, savoring moments with loved ones, increase in outdoor consumption due to long weekends, wedding season, parties, get-togethers with their preferred spirits.”

Indian consumers indulged in a variety of alcohol over the last few days. Rahul Singh, Senior Vice-President, Pubs at Bira 91, said that despite winter, many beer brands in its portfolio demonstrated sustained popularity, and interest in Rum and Whisky witnessed an uptick.

Gin too was a popular choice this season. Anand Virmani, Co-founder and CEO, NAO Spirits, said, “We noticed a notable shift toward high-quality craft Indian spirits, and there has been a noticeable increase in on-trade consumption, returning to pre-Covid levels.” Its offerings Greater Than London Dry Gin, Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, Pipa Rum de Goa garnered traction.

The premiumisation trend also gained momentum. Tilaknagar Industries said that its growth was driven by ’prestige and above’ segment brands. “The younger consumer is more experimental and is looking at premium offerings for an elevated experience. Additionally, there has been a very visible inclination towards flavored spirits which has further been seen in the growth in the overall flavored spirits industry,” said Amit Dahanukar, Chairman and Managing Director, Tilaknagar Industries.