Premium outlets set to transform Indian alcobev industry

Research led by IPSOS highlights marked changes in purchase behavior

Photo Logan Weaver on Unsplash

The International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) recently commissioned global research agency IPSOS to conduct a market survey to assess shopper experience and perceptions at high-end premium liquor stores. The survey gleaned interesting insights into transforming alcobev buying experiences with the growth of premiumization across key regions in the country.  

Propensity for women to visit outlets is higher at premium outlets 

Women are stepping into liquor stores more than ever before on the back of premiumization. The survey found that while just 2% of women shoppers visited regular stores, premium stores witnessed 10% women visiting and shopping for their preferred brands. This growth stems from the safety and comfort that premium liquor stores offer, making women feel independent enough to browse for premium brands and shop for them on their own. 

Premium outlets offer a safe environment

A safe and inviting environment is also encouraging men and women to spend more time at premium stores, basking in the shopping experience. The survey revealed that 23% men are accompanied in a premium store and 63% are alone, as compared to regular stores where 27% men come accompanied and 72% are alone. On the other hand, with a better environment, 63% women walk into premium liquor stores alone while only 37% are accompanied. 

Experience and experiment at premium outlets 

43% of shoppers visiting in groups browse and experiment at liquor stores. Unlike regular liquor stores, premium stores allow patrons to enter the pleasantly-designed outlets and browse through the aisles to pick up their preferred drinks. The research found that individuals in the age group of 31-40 years are driving the experimentation and browsing trends with 54% shoppers enquiring about products. Moreover, shoppers were found to be more explorative while visiting in groups (43%) vis-à-vis visiting alone (29%). 

In terms of drinks that are piquing customer interest, the data pointed towards beer and rum, which attracted the maximum browsing and interaction during non-peak hours. 35% more shoppers interact with retailers at premium stores as opposed to regular ones. 

Women spend more at premium liquor stores 

With premium stores offering a greater number of high-quality, sought-after brands, it is not surprising that the survey found a higher offtake of premium (Whiskey-18 % – Beer-34%) compared to regular outlets (Whiskey 5% – Beer-18%). The data also pointed towards a 2x growth in spends at premium stores with women averaging Rs 702 on a single purchase as compared to Rs 468 among men.  

40+ shoppers drive maximum sales at premium stores

Delving into the demographic trends unlocked by premium liquor stores, the survey unveiled interesting insights. Overall, in premium stores, 19% of shoppers are above 41 while 14% are above 50 years. Comparatively, regular stores witness 16% shoppers above 41 years and 4% over 50. The trend replicates itself across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Lucknow, and Bangalore, where shoppers in the 40+ age bracket frequent premium liquor stores more than regular ones. This indicates that premium liquor stores are attracting mature, affluent shoppers who analyze brands and prefer making informed decisions around alcobev purchases.  

Speaking on the survey, Nita Kapoor, chief executive officer, said, “Premium liquor stores are driving the trends of browsing and experimentation in the alcobev industry leading to the key message of drink less, drink better by ISWAI. As evidenced by the survey, more shoppers, including women and higher age groups, prefer premium stores on the back of elevated experience, perception, ease of navigation, and safety. Weekdays and non-peak hours witness an uptick in browsing as relaxed shopping takes place during these hours. The number of people consuming liquor in India is projected to increase from 29.3 crore in 2018 to 38.6 crore in 2030. With greater and better variety and room for experimentation at premium stores, premiumization of liquor stores will continue to unlock interesting trends in this space.” 


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