What Drives The Phenomenal Growth Of The Indian Spirits Industry? 5 Trends To Look Forward To

So, what are the key drivers and trends that have fueled the impressive expansion of the alcohol industry?

by Tejashee Kashyap
What Drives The Phenomenal Growth Of The Indian Spirits Industry? 5 Trends To Look Forward To

The spirits industry in India has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few decades. If you’re a fine spirits fan or an alcohol expert, prepare for Mumbai’s largest festival dedicated to fine spirits and alcohol, The Vault Festival. Ahead of the event happening on February, it’s exciting to see the alcohol trends move towards new spirit categories overtaking existing ones, a surge in mindful consumerism, and customers eager for community areas.

Changing Consumer Preferences With Time

One of the primary catalysts for the growth of the spirits industry in India has been the evolving taste preferences of consumers. So, what are the key drivers and trends that have fueled the impressive expansion of the spirits industry? Keshav Prakash, the Founder and Curator of the festival shares his insights:

1.  New-Age Consumer


Indian consumers of the modern era approach spirits with a value- and insight-driven perspective. Distinct from the previous era that prioritised consumption, the current drinking culture emphasises “experience over excess,” with the goal of improving drinking habits rather than increasing consumption.Consumers are becoming more interested in workshops, tasting tables, and degustation menus where they can talk to and engage with other enthusiasts.

2. Exploring The Home Bar

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India is poised to become the world’s largest at-home consuming market. This shows a distinctive category for consumers to focus on throwing events in individualised settings and their home bars. New age consumption habits are led by Millennials and Gen Z. 80% of purchases made worldwide fall into these categories.

Also read: Can Whisky Be Non-Alcoholic? Take A Journey Through The World Of ‘No-Booze’ Booze

3. Premium Spirits Culture

Consumers are looking for premium experiences in all sectors of consumption due to a shift in taste and lifestyle habits. Although premiumisation was thought to be a fleeting fad in 2023, it will become a defining behavioral trend starting this year. Due to a 12% growth in demand for premium and luxury offerings across all spirit categories in FY23, international market sees India as a gateway to premium spirit consumption.

4. New Categories Topping Charts

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India’s next drinking stage will witness a sharp rise in demand for agave varieties like Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol due to a boom in interest in agave spirits. Moreover, private label whiskies and limited-edition releases are garnering international recognition. While signature editions are on their way to becoming collectibles. All of these contributes to India’s growing whisky consumption. Additionally, the import of wines and Saké will soar along with the growth in sales of craft beer. Curiosity is the primary motivator of India’s next phase of alcohol consumption.

5. Curated Experiences Counts!

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A distinguishing feature of bars and mixologists who are always experimenting with intriguing cocktail combinations using coffee and spirit infusions is the rise of collaborative menus. The menus are full of ingredient-forward cocktails and spirit-centric components. In order to fully engage the spirit community, brands must incorporate tastings, tours, community activities, and events in response to consumers’ growing inclination toward “experientials” and value-driven experiences.

The industry’s journey from a traditional, local market to a vibrant and dynamic sector reflects the changing aspirations and lifestyles of Indian consumers. So, what do you think of these growing trends?

Cover image credits: Canva