As the sun sets on 2007, tipplers will be raising a toast to a year which gave them a plethora of global brands to choose from. For every peg they gulp down, they would be thankful to the year which saw the prices of imported spirits going southward, as the government removed additional customs duty.
Wider choices of purchasing point, with many of the liquor firms (both domestic and multinational) tying up with big retailers to take advantage of the booming sector, gave the consumers another cause to cheer.
While Diageo entered into arrangements with Reliance Retail, other players like UB Group and Champagne Indage were scouting for partnerships with the likes of Shoprite and the Future Group.
With brands like Bouvet Ladubay, Romanov diet Vodka, Four Seasons (from United Spirits); Nillaya Blossom Hill and Piat-d'or (Diageo); Masterstroke (Diageo Radico); Bourbon Whiskey and DYC Whiskey (Beam Global) and Apple Rum (Bacardi) making their debut in the Indian market, the choice was wider than ever for consumers.
Moreover, domestic players like Globus Spirits also forayed into Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) segment with a range of brands, while Champagne Indage launched Tiger wines.
In the beer segment, the market saw the entry of global players such as Carlsberg, Budweiser and Heineken, while other prominent brands such as Molson Coors and Kirin are also seen exploring opportunities in India.
When it came to expanding the horizons, it was the King of Good Times -- Vijay Mallya who walked away with the honours after United Spirits successfully acquired Scottish whisky company Whyte & Mackay for 595 million pounds (Rs 4,819 crore).