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India waiting in the wings as new wine market

Pricing is the major obstacle for brands wanting to enter the Indian wine market, a new article argues. According to New Delhi News Net, ‘Indians are not averse to wines. It's just that it's inaccessible due to the price factor. If the prices come down it would ease the process of familiarisation with the product’. With the world looking towards developing markets for wine sales, many are wondering if English-speaking India might not be a easier market to penetrate than China.

Strict custom processes, 160% import duties and exorbitant prices in hotels and restaurant seem to be the main barriers to entry. However, the fact that India has a very young population (600 million people in the age group 20-35), and many medium-sized cities with big groups of working professionals may count in its favour, as it’s considered easier to build a wine culture among these demographics.

A local sommelier says: 'Wine doesn't have to replace beer or whisky as it has its own place. You don't consume whisky with food; you have wine. I would say the industry is improving with many rising stars among wine brands.'

Australian, Spanish and Italian wine brands are already in India, selling mostly lower-priced wines, but the country is definitely one to watch, especially with South Africa’s recent invitation to join the BRIC group.


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