“It’s a volatile environment. We used to say, two steps forward and one step back. The third quarter indeed was one of these quarters that is one step back for Carlsberg when it posted flat volume growth. It was impacted by price and excise tax increase in a couple of states," Hart said at an investor call last week.
Enlisting the reasons why 46% of respondents wanted a uniform drinking age of 21 years, a study by Kantar and NFX said it would enable them to be aware of their limits of responsible alcohol consumption. It indicated that a growing number of Indian consumers are willing to indulge in responsible drinking provided certain barriers are addressed.
Liquor trade’s hangover from the slowdown is similar to FMCG failing to take a bigger bite out of consumer spend, again thanks to liquidity issues. Hindustan Unilever had last month said trade was facing an acute liquidity crunch. Analysts expect liquor sales to remain subdued for the rest of the fiscal.
The maker of Absolut vodka and Chivas Regal scotch had gross sales of Rs 20,335 crore in the year-to-March 2019, latest filing sourced from Veratech showed. Pernod's growth numbers outpaced Diageo's Indian business that grew 10% in revenues.
A host of factors have taken a toll on liquor sales recorded till September. Last year's high base along with floods and an economic slump has seen consumption taking a hit. General elections also impacted the sales in April & June.
The sale of spirits has been hit by a host of factors like high taxation, restrictive pricing, sporadic prohibitions, among others. India is one of the most profitable regions for Pernod globally and ranks next to the US and China.
Eight-day rule framed by the excise department to control bootlegging and adulteration of premium Vodka and whisky brands has caused a furore among the resto-bars owners in the capital. Bar owners are worried that they would end-up with huge losses.