Wine industry growth predicted at 25-30 per cent by 2010

New Delhi: Domestic wine consumption is slated to hit the nine million litres mark by 2010, displaying growth at a CAGR of about 22 per cent per annum.

According to ASSOCHAM president Venugopal Dhoot, ''''India''s wine market is currently equivalent to around 200 people sharing one bottle, but it is likely to grow at a projected CAGR of 22 per cent over the next three years, in view of rising consumption patterns of wine not only among youngsters but equally so in senior aged group.''''

80 per cent of the demand for wine originates in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore. Present consumption tallies at around the five million litres mark.

Western India accounts for 41 per cent of the country''s wine consumption, followed by the North at 29 per cent, according to industry body ASSOCHAM''s paper titled Wine : Bearing Fruit in India. About 63 per cent of the volume sales of wine are through off-trade channel, ie in five-star hotels, pubs and bar-restaurants, the study states.

A large teeming population under 30 years old is one of the major factors contributing to wine consumption. Estimates suggest that around 650 million tipplers will go through an attitudinal shift in their alcohol consumption, developing a penchant for wine.

Another significant contributing factor is the rising disposable income among consumers, implying ies that a larger chunk of the population will be able to afford such products. Also, the influences of western culture are pushing Indian youth to adapt their lifestyle and standards of living to more global levels.

Recent measures adopted by the government, which are aimed at diverting the population off stronger and more harmful drinks like spirits, have significantly aided the growth of the wine industry.

Numerous state governments have reduced duties on wine, eased restrictions on distribution, and allowed wine to be sold in supermarkets. On the industry side, they have provided incentives for wineries to establish new facilities, according to the ASSOCHAM study.

The cost for setting up a wine plant in the country with capacity of around a lakh litres comes an affordable Rs1-1.5 crore mark. This has seen many entrepreneurs, both Indian and foreign, jump at the opportunity.

These ''favourable'' conditions for winemakers have seen the likes of top drink makers Diageo, Pernod Ricard, LVMH''s Moet Hennessey and SABMiller enter India. Other companies like Anheuser-Busch Co Inc., and the Danish brewer, Carlsberg are also on their way.