Reuters reports on the growing acceptance of female alcohol consumption in India. According to the press agency women who drink are becoming a ‘big business in socially conservative India’.

The article states that the female market segment of drinks consumers is growing twice as fast as the overall sector. In India’s $10 billion drinks industry this fact presents a significant market opportunity.

The idea of women drinking is slowly gaining acceptance, according to the article, due to more women entering in the organized workforce, gaining financial independence and interacting with their male counterparts in social and professional settings.

Reuters also describes how the French alcohol producer Remy Cointreau, launched their orange liqueur in India three years ago to reach female market. “There is a rise in the cocktail culture and a significant part of that is because of women,” Rajesh Grover tells Reuters. Grover is a marketing manager for the Indian subcontinent at Remy Cointreau. The article describes one of Remy Cointreau’s promotional actions; an event where a discount is given that is proportionate to the height of the heels that their female customers are wearing.

Indians are among the world’s lowest consumers of alcohol. The Indian Government’s Centre for Alcohol Studies found that 30 percent of men and 3 percent of women have at least one drink a year. It is expected that the women’s market in India will grow 25 percent over the next five years, faster than the 10 percent rise projected for the overall industry.

Because alcohol and cigarette advertising are banned in India, alcohol producers have to be creative, using their brands on water, soda and even music CDs. Many producers sponsor fashion shows and music festivals, while some have hired Bollywood stars for related promotions.

According to Reuters, vodka and alcopops like Bacardi Breezer are still among the most popular types of beverage for Indian women. Yet the article also quotes research firm Mintel, which states that Indian females are ‘increasingly turning experimental.’ The article then goes on to state that especially whiskey is increasingly popular with women.

“Their rising affluence, aspirations and exposure to different lifestyles appears to be driving this desire to have newer experiences and that includes experimenting with alcohol,” an Indian marketing and innovation director at Diageo, told Reuters.

Source: 03/17/13

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