Women Are Driving The Growth In Alcohol Consumption In India


India’s alcohol market is growing, it is one of the fastest-growing markets in India. The strange thing about the growth is that it is being fuelled by women drinkers and not men! A recent survey by  Community Against Drunken Driving has reveled that in Delhi and other major cities women are consuming alcohol in larger numbers than ever before.

The sudden rising consumption of alcohol among women, who till now have been traditionally non-drinkers for decades, has resulted in a boom in the alcohol market.

Expected to grow by 25% over the next 5 years, the “women’s alcohol market” is aided by the psycho-social fabric of the society where alcohol is seen as “a means of coping with modern-day stresses.”

Prince Singhal, Founder CADD: “At Rs. 2.7 lakh crore India’s alcohol market is among the world’s fastest-growing. Globally 6% of the alcohol growth is driven by India and men are women are drinking a lot more alcohol as compared to the last decade. A steady and silent contributor to this growth has been the increased consumption of alcohol among women who were till recently considered the obvious abstainers. The rising affluence, aspirations, societal pressures and exposure to a different lifestyle is driving women to experiment with alcohol. In Delhi, for instance, 40% of men and 20% of women (almost 15 lakh women) are alcohol consumers as per a report by AIIMS. This study is aimed at assessing the current consumption, expenditure pattern, drinking habits and spaces and other factors that are impacting this phenomenon.”

Conducted over a period of 3 months (May – July ‘2019), the reports were compiled after recording the experiences of over 5000 women in Delhi who were aged between 18 years – 70 years. The empowerment of women has dismissed the idea of a male dependancy while consuming alcohol.

Singhal added, “Higher disposable incomes, changes in attitudes over alcohol consumption, and the proliferation of eating out culture have spurred demand for alcohol. Women are no longer dependent on having alcohol in the company of men and are doing so while going out alone or in a group. Weekend outings and mid-week celebration when have become even more enticing with offers and deals from bars and pubs. Thus expenditure on alcohol by women has increased considerably especially among working women and those belonging to higher income groups. Higher pricing and taxation which were seen as a deterrent to alcohol purchase have no impact on this expenditure and even more expensive brands are seeing steady growth.”

Booming at a rate of 10% more than that predicted for the overall industry, the current trends of alcohol consumption among women is expected to grow further.

“The survey primarily established more men are drinking—and women are drinking more. Even after traditionally being nondrinkers for decades the women’s alcohol market is expected to grow by 25% over the next 5 years as per Centre for alcohol studies, Govt. of India. Mostly all social activities in the present times are centred around alcohol and it is seen as a quick and easy social lubricant—and when everyone’s doing the same thing, it doesn’t seem like a problem. Affluence, alcohol as a means of coping with modern-day stresses and ‘Pinking’ of the alcohol market, combined with sustained messaging in movies and on TV that alcohol is the best way for women to relax and reward themselves, is all adding up to the rise,” Singhal concluded.


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