The Bangalore-based distributor of imported liquor Magpie Trading is looking to capitalise on the booming market for premium spirits in India to drive its expansion and sales.

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The premium spirits are growing faster in India by 61 per cent vis-a-vis the overall category of 20 per cent. The Indian alcoholic beverages market is currently $52.5 billion and is growing at a CAGR of 6.8 per cent, said K. Vijayaraghavan, Chairman of Magpie Trading, quoting studies.

He attributed the surge in demand to the rising middle class and increasing disposable income which have led to the rise in imports and local distilleries at a time when most of the developed nations are showing a declining trend in alcohol consumption.

Founded three years ago, Magpie Trading ventured into the market with its Dordogne VSOP French Brandy and Magpie Gold Scotch Whisky tailored to suit Indian preferences. The company has expanded its presence across key regions such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Mahe and Pondicherry.

The whisky market revenue in India in 2024 amounted to ₹1.4 trillion and is projected to grow by 6.15 per cent (CAGR 2024-2028), making it the country generating the highest revenue globally. By 2028, the volume is expected to reach 3.6 billion litres, he said, adding that the average volume per person in the whisky market is projected to be 2.30 litres in 2024.

The brandy market is also on the rise with a revenue of ₹302.4 billion that is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.22 per cent. By 2028, the volume is expected to reach 0.7 billion litres.

“Looking ahead, Magpie Trading aims to further penetrate the Indian market by targeting Telangana. While volume-wise sales are concentrated in Tamil Nadu, we remain committed to exploring new markets and adapting to changing consumer preferences, particularly among youth. With an eye on responsible social drinking and export plans targeting Africa and Dubai, plans are afoot to upgrade the Dordogne VSOP Brandy with a premium option and also to launch Magpie Whiskey at an affordable price maintaining high quality”, Vijayaraghavan said.

The bottling process for Magpie products takes place in France and Bangalore serves as a hub for experimentation with new flavour combinations. The company has clocked ₹5 crore revenue in FY24 and is expected to touch ₹26 crore in FY25, mainly driven by the introduction of new products and expansion to Africa and Dubai, he said.

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The market analysts report IWSR 2022, says India is now the number one market globally for whisky, rum and brandy in the global benchmark for beverage alcohol data. India consumed 7.5 million cases of Scotch whisky in 2022 compared to 3.9 million in 2020. The Scotch whisky consumption in India grew by 200 per cent in the last decade. The data also highlighted that India became the world’s leading Scotch export destination by volume.