Beer sales soared in Mumbai with rising temperature | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Beer sales soared in Mumbai with rising temperature

Jun 15, 2022 12:50 AM IST

In April and May 2022, Mumbaikars drank 31.64 lakh bulk litres (LBL) and 97.94 LBL beer in the Mumbai city and suburban districts

Mumbai: The soaring heat and the gradual resumption of economic activity have led to a surge in the consumption of beer in Mumbai and Maharashtra. The sales in the Mumbai city and suburban districts have grown by 157.93% and 103.29%, respectively, in April and May this year compared to the corresponding period in 2020. In Maharashtra, beer sales have risen by 199.25% in the same duration.

While a 180 ml bottle of an entry-level Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brand costs <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>160, the MRP of a bottle of a popular beer brand sells at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>180 for mild beer and <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>190 for strong beer.
While a 180 ml bottle of an entry-level Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brand costs 160, the MRP of a bottle of a popular beer brand sells at 180 for mild beer and 190 for strong beer.

In April and May 2022, Mumbaikars drank 31.64 lakh bulk litres (LBL) and 97.94 LBL beer in the Mumbai city and suburban districts, respectively, vis-à-vis lower 12.27 LBL and 48.17 LBL in the corresponding period last year.

Officials from the state excise department and industry sources noted that this growth was driven by the intense summer heat and the economy coming back on track due to the gradual resumption of economic activity after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Since prices of beer are higher, consumers react to it in a price-sensitive market by shifting to drinking IMFL as it gives a ‘kick’ or sense of a high at lower prices.

While a 180 ml bottle of an entry-level Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brand costs 160, the MRP of a bottle of a popular beer brand sells at 180 for mild beer and 190 for strong beer.

In 2021-22, the consumption of IMFL ended at 2,358.60 LBL, up by 17.97% from 1,999.25 LBL in 2020-21. In comparison, beer sales grew by a lower 14.95% from 2,011.93 LBL to 2,312.81 LBL, and country liquor, which is consumed by the working and toiling classes, rose from 3,208.06 LBL to 3,483.08 LBL (8.57%). Wine sales grew by a massive 21.75% from 70.76 LBL in 2020-21 to 86.15 LBL in 2021-22 though wine consumption is negligible in terms of volumes compared to the other categories of liquor.

Last year’s higher growth in IMFL volumes compared to that of beer was attributed to a financial crunch and changed drinking patterns--people avoided chilled beverages like beer in favour of IMFL.

“This was a hot season (summer) for Mumbai and Maharashtra and hence, the perfect time for beer consumption,” said Dilip Giyanani, chairman of the Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association. He added that growth in beer drinking had seen some wine shops falling short of beer stocks.

Apart from the eased financial situation after the resumption of economic activity, Giyanani noted that the restrictions on economic activity and timings for commercial activities in April and May last year due to the second wave of Covid-19 had also affected liquor sales.

Shivanand Shetty, President, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), too concurred with this. “This is a seasonal trend. Consumption of beer usually rises in the summers. Last year, sales had fallen due to Covid-19 restrictions (on establishments),” he said.

Shetty added that the normalization of economic activity had led to beer drinkers, who had gradually shifted to IMFL due to a financial crunch, going back to their favourite brew due to greater liquidity.

Last year, the state excise department generated revenue of 17,177.19 crore, which is 13.84% more than the 15,089.24 crore in the previous financial year. This year, it has set a target of 22,767 crore.

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