Wine sales could jump by 25% after Maharashtra govt allows sales in supermarkets

At present, wine sales across the country stand at 3.5 million cases. Maharashtra accounts for 25-30% of the total sales which roughly translates to around 75-90 lakh litres, said Jagdish Holkar, president, AIWPA.

Wine sales in Maharashtra could rise 25-30% believes All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA), following the decision taken by the state cabinet to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets and shelf-in shops.

At present, wine sales across the country stand at 3.5 million cases. Maharashtra accounts for 25-30% of the total sales which roughly translates to around 75-90 lakh litres, said Jagdish Holkar, president, AIWPA.

“Wine sales in supermarkets are likely to take off from the new fiscal since most companies will presently be in the process of winding up the current financial year,” he observed. “Allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets or walk-in stores will boost sales. Maharashtra can cross 2 crore litre sales in five years if everything goes as planned,” Holkar said. Moreover, grapes for wines gives the highest realisation to farmers, between Rs 40 and Rs 80 per litre consumed, the association said.

At present, wine is sold at retail liquor outlets. Following the decision taken by the cabinet, the sale of wine will be allowed in supermarkets with a minimum size of 100 sq meters and shelves in shops with a minimum of 2.5 cubic meters.

Based on data available with AIWPA only 600 walk-in supermarkets throughout Maharashtra will be eligible to offer wines for sale. Even here the maximum area of 2.25 cubic metres can be dedicated to lockable wine shelves, which will be off-limits on dry days, he suggested. The standard distance rule from places of worship and educational institutions will be maintained just as in the case of other liquor retail shops before the licenses are issued, Holkar said. The wineries shall soon approach these supermarkets for the sale of wines since this will widen their market reach.

Currently, wine in walk-in supermarkets is sold in Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi (till November 2019). “Maharashtra will benefit from this move as currently, wine is barely 1% of alcohol sales in the state at only 75 lakh litres per year. The impact of this rule will help small wineries too as they will now have access to the discerning consumers,” Holkar felt.

India’s per capita consumption of wine is among the lowest in the world at 25 ml. Therefore, AIWPA is in the process of designing a new campaign to create more awareness about wine in the state, the details of which will be discussed in the upcoming managing committee meeting, he said.

Historically, alcoholic beverages such as whisky, rum and beer dominated alcohol consumption in India, however, the rise in disposable incomes, rapid urbanisation, access to reasonably priced domestic wines, the perceived health benefits of consuming low alcohol beverages and changing consumer attitudes have led to a significant increase in wine consumption.

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