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India is ‘the new China for wine’ suggests research head

Published:  11 June, 2018

Wine Intelligence has teamed up with Indian MW Sonal Holland to weigh up the opportunities the sub-continent presents winemakers.

The research consultancy is seeking questions from the trade for its Vinitrac India Study, which will canvas the opinions of drinkers in six key cities across India, including Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

Holland suggests that the sub-continent could present opportunities of the scale of China, where wine imports have boomed over the past decade.

“Statistics vary on how many people drink wine in India, but our work so far suggests wine drinkers are drawn largely from 30 million upper income consumers,” she said.

“There is correspondingly very low national per capita consumption of wine – a bit like where China was 15 years ago.”

India is the world’s second most populous state after China, with a population of 1.3 billion. With more than 800 million under 35, it has the world’s largest millennial population.

Morgan Stanley has predicted Indian GDP growth of 7.5% in 2019, putting it ahead of China. In 2018, India’s GDP grew by 6.7%.

This means that the sub-continent presents a key opportunity for winemakers, added Holland. “Alcohol sales are on the rise in modern India,” she said.

“Whisky, rum and beer continue to dominate alcohol consumption in the country. However, the increasing availability of locally produced and imported wine has spawned significant consumer interest in wine, causing a shift in people’s drinking choices.”

The Indian wine industry delivered 14% compound annual growth from 2010 to last year, said Holland, making it the fastest growing alcoholic drink in India. Rising disposable incomes, rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles are expected to accelerate that growth.