India is largest whiskey consumer in world but urban Indians prefer beer: Survey


NEW DELHI: Even though India is the largest consumer of whisky in the world, about three times higher than the US, which is the second largest consumer, only 16% of urban Indians have termed it as their favourite drink, according to the latest survey by YouGuv. Instead, beer and wine seem to be the popular choice with more than half (56% and 55% respectively) saying they have tried it and roughly a quarter (24% and 22%) calling it their favourite alcoholic beverage.

Whisky is seen as a preference among males, especially GenX respondents while beer finds favouritism with younger adults (GenZ & millennials). Although wine consumption in India is low, women appear to be driving its growth in the market.
Among those who consider whisky a favourite, a large majority (86%) claim to be occasional drinkers, either drinking on special occasions (birthday, etc), socially or only on weekends. In comparison to this, regular drinkers of whisky (who drink anytime, daily or most evenings in the week) are fewer (22%).
The most popular occasions to have whisky are- at a formal conference or office party, while relaxing at home and at a house party or in a club with friends.

Source: YouGov

Calorie information is also important as three in five (60%) said it is extremely or somewhat important for them to know the calorie content in alcoholic beverages.
Furthermore, roughly one in ten brand loyalists and switchers (11% and 8%) said they would try a new brand if it had a lower calorie content, an insight brands may want to focus on given the increased emphasis on health and fitness following the pandemic.
Stickiness to their favourite brand is higher among beer and wine lovers as compared to whiskey favourers. They survey also found that GenX are way more likely than GenZ drinkers (74% vs 33%) to say they are open to trying new brand options, while the latter are more likely to stick to their favourite brand (48% vs 10%).
” We see consumers more willing to switch brands and have lower loyalty to a favourite brand possibly due to pandemic related constraints which not only reduced social opportunities to drink outside of home but also the easy availability of preferred brands,” said Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India.

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