Already among the world’s highest consumers of alcohol, India’s love for its drinks is growing rapidly.
Over the decade ending 2016, the country’s annual per capita spirits consumption more than doubled to 5.7 litres, according to a World Health Organisation (pdf) study.
Despite this jump, India is behind China where the figure (ie per capita consumption of alcohol) stood at over 7 litres, the report said. India is also behind developed countries where it is at 10 litres (pdf).
Over the years, higher disposable incomes, change in attitudes towards alcohol consumption, and the proliferation of an eating-out culture have spurred demand.
At $38 billion (Rs2.7 lakh crore) India’s alcohol market is among the world’s fastest growing. Globally, 6% of the industry’s growth (pdf) was driven by India. Indians have a preference for whisky, consuming half of the world’s production. The country is also the world’s largest producer of whisky.
Alcohol consumption in India has grown across genders, though men remain way ahead of women.
But there is also the inevitable negative side to it. On an average, India reported 2,60,000 alcohol-related deaths annually caused by ailments and road accidents, WHO said in its study.
Yet, per capita consumption is only set to grow by another 2.2 litres by 2025, one of the highest jumps in south and east Asia, WHO said.