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Indians prefer red wine over white wine, new study says
Our Bureau
Date of posting: 14-07-10
      The Indian wine industry has been witnessing phenomenal growth in recent years and the proliferation of brands has only led to an evolution in consumer taste. At the same time, the Indian consumers would become more and more discerning, an outcome of the increasing choices that they have available in the market. This are some of the findings of the latest Nielsen Syndicated Wine Study 2010 about consumer habits.

      Regarding the perception of wine, the study says that "whatever wine they consume, Indians consider the drink a stylish, sophisticated drink meant for successful people". Some would consider wine a drink for romantic occasions and also consider it for gifting purposes.

      The survey was conducted across the three metros Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, and gauged consumer perceptions about wine and their consumption and purchase habits. Across these cities, there would be a differing association on the beverage. Wine has a high association with business occasions in Delhi. However in Bangalore, consumers consider wine a drink for successful people and for relaxation purposes. In Mumbai, wine is perceived to be a drink suited for any season.

      When it comes to price, both Delhi and Bangalore consider wine an expensive drink. In Mumbai the price would not be a concern for consumers of the beverage. Possibly the existence of a more evolved consumer base with a higher proportion of entrenched users that cuts across age groups might be a reason for this attitude towards wine prices in Mumbai, the survey tries to explain that price perception in Mumbai.

      Among the different variants of wine available in India, the red wines are consumed the most with 82% consuming it in the last three months, with red wine having a more stable base of consumers. They are the category drivers. Though consumers have experimented with white wine, after a brief flirtation they would prefer to go back to red wine.

      The level of experimentation with different variants of wine and different brands is higher in Delhi and Bangalore and amongst men. Bangalore, despite having a younger consumer base, is conservative when it comes to wine experimentation.

      “Wine holds a distinct position in the Indian consumers’ mind. It is seen as a sophisticated, stylish drink as compared to other alcoholic beverages, like Whiskey, Scotch and Rum that are considered men’s drink or Gin, which is considered a woman’s drink. Lately with more international players entering the market, the Indian consumer has only progressed in their indulgence of wine,” says Arti Verma, Associate Director of Nielsen.

      Other findings are about consumption patterns. Nearly eight in ten (78%) Indian wine consumers would believe that wine should be served in wine glasses only. And while 76% believe that the wine should match the type of food eaten, only very few actually put that to practice. The majority of Indians (62%) would consume wine only out of home or at a friend’s place. Even for those who consume wine both in and out of home (32%), out of home consumption is much higher. Wine consumption is mainly during special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. for both in home and out of home consumption.

      The Nielsen study surveyed a total of 460 respondents. Respondent was someone who consumes wine at least once a month and who has been consuming wine for the past six months.

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