Tag Archives: drink responsibly

Diageo India initiates removal of mono cartons of VAT 69, Black & White and Black Dog

In line with its initiative Society 2030: Spirit of Progress and its 10-year ESG action plan, Diageo India will be initiating a phased removal of mono cartons from its popular Scotch brands in India VAT 69, Black & White and Black Dog. Although there isn’t a clear timeline on when this removal is expected to commence, it includes Diageo’s global effort to be zero-waste to landfill from its own operations and offices by 2030.

The move comes following the announcement in May this year for the removal of mono cartons from its scotch portfolio brands globally, which included brands like Johnnie Walker Black Label, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky and Bell’s Original Blended Scotch Whisky.

Although there isn’t a timeline on when the phased removal in India will commence, in May Diageo had stated that the removal of these mono cartons will allow the company to assess the response from the consumer, which if successful will be expanded to other brands as well in 2023.

What will the customer response be to this announcement in India remains to be seen, especially since standing out in a shelf space in a country like India is important, due to its stringent marketing policies. It will also be interesting to see if this move will prompt other manufacturers to follow a similar path.

Currently there isn’t any update yet if there will be any changes made to the packaging (we will update the article periodically), considering mono cartons play an important role in branding and packaging of the product. Also whether the removal of mono cartons is expected to affect the product pricing, also remains to be seen. Since manufacturers spend a considerable cost towards packaging their products, the cost is often passed onto the consumer.

Diageo believes that the phased removal will engage consumers to participate, contribute and promote a progressive move to a sustainable future and will result in saving 10,000 tonnes of paper and reducing 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

ABD launches ‘ICONiQ White Whisky’ in Metaverse

Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), the domestic alcobev company, has launched of its new whisky “ICONiQ White” on the metaverse, before the offering becomes available in the market.

The brand has been launched first in ABD MetaBar – the organisation’s presence in the metaverse. The brand will subsequently be launched in the physical world in markets nationally.

ABD India forayed into the metaverse with ABD MetaBar, an immersive virtual reality space providing consumers and enthusiasts with a differentiated experience of product discovery. Optimised for both mobile and desktop usage, the MetaBar taps into the growing interest in the Metaverse especially the youth and their willingness to experiment with novel digital activations.

Shekhar Ramamurthy, Executive Deputy Chairman, ABD, said, “A core belief at ABD is to ‘Think Differently’. The launch of ICONiQ White in ABD MetaBar, ahead of its physical launch, gives consumers an opportunity to immerse with the brand before they experience it in stores. We believe this is the shape of things to come and ABD would like to lead that change.”

Bikram Basu, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, ABD, said, “ICONiQ White is a contemporary whisky for blend, packaging, and positioning. It will appeal to the young adult and plays in an affordable premium segment which has the largest pool of consumers today. We are here with something very special and here to win.”

Sohini Pani, Founder and Managing Director – River, said, “Crafting the communication mix for ‘ICONiQ White’ was a delightful experience. It all started with the name. ‘ICONiQ’ is bold and trendy, while ‘White’ is a surprising twist in the world of whisky. The visual space and the idea pitch the brand as a playful companion for fun-loving younger audiences. The icing on the cake was the opportunity for us to build ground-up the ABD MetaBar a few months ago and work towards the launch of Iconiq White on the platform.”

Beam Suntory unveils renewable energy-powered Jim Beam Expansion

Beam Suntory will invest more than $400 million to expand production at its Booker Noe distillery in Boston, KY, which produces Jim Beam. This expansion will increase capacity by 50%, while reducing the distillery’s greenhouse gas emissions by the same percentage, through the use of anaerobic digestors that will produce renewable natural gas to power the facility.

Beam Suntory has entered into an agreement with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a facility across the street to convert spent stillage into biogas which will be treated to renewable natural gas standards and piped directly back to the Booker Noe facility. The digestors will also produce a high-quality, low-cost fertilizer, which will be made available to local farmers, thereby supporting sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.

Upon project completion, which is expected in 2024, the Booker Noe distillery will be 65% powered by renewable natural gas, and 35% by fossil-based natural gas.

“We are committed to making a difference by investing in cleaner technologies and systems, and the expansion and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from this project does just that with our biggest brand,” said Beam Suntory President and CEO Albert Baladi. “This expansion will help ensure we meet future demand for our iconic bourbon in a sustainable way that supports the environment and the local community that has helped build and support Jim Beam.”

In addition to capacity expansion, the investment includes land, warehouses, and 51 new local jobs. Further, this project allows the distillery to invest in high-efficiency gas boilers to make maximum use of renewable natural gas, use scrubbing technology to remove carbon dioxide from fermentation tanks, and following a purification process, facilitate the beneficial reuse of more than 100,000 metric tons of high-purity carbon dioxide annually.

“As consumers around the world continue to discover bourbon, we want Jim Beam and our commitment to sustainability to be part of that discovery,” said Carlo Coppola, Managing Director of the James B. Beam Distilling Co. “I’m so proud to be honouring our legacy as the First Family of Bourbon by leveraging this renewable energy to support our brand’s trajectory for the next 225 years.”

Beam Suntory invests more than $500 million every year to make bourbon in Kentucky. The company recently completed a $60 million transformation of the James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s homeplace in Clermont, KY, including a new and elevated visitor experience, inclusive of the full Beam family of brands like Knob Creek, Basil Hayden and Booker’s Bourbons, the Fred B. Noe Distillery, and the Kitchen Table restaurant.

“I want to once again thank the leadership at Beam Suntory for this commitment to grow the Booker Noe Distillery in Nelson County,” said Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “The dozens of jobs this project is creating will benefit so many families in Central Kentucky, and the company’s continued growth reflects the strength of our state’s signature bourbon industry. Congratulations to everyone involved with this significant investment. I could not be more excited to see what’s next for Jim Beam Brands in Kentucky.”

Beam Suntory’s investment was first announced by the state of Kentucky through a series of economic incentive grants, made in July, including the $400 million investment to increase capacity, build warehouses, and create new jobs.

“Our goal is to help Jim Beam create a sustainable future for their company and the planet,” said John Rivers, CEO of 3 Rivers Energy Partners. “With this process, we will create new renewable energy, and help sustain the agriculture needed to create their products. It is truly a full circle sustainability approach.”

3 Rivers Energy Partners specialises in the design, build, and operations of renewable natural gas projects. The company works to provide renewable energy solutions for organisations by utilising existing bio-waste streams as feedstock for renewable energy sources.

Beam Suntory has made ambitious commitments to protect the planet, consumers and communities through Proof Positive, the company’s long-term, enterprise-wide sustainability strategy. The company also issued its inaugural sustainability report recently.

As an energy developer, 3 Rivers Energy Partners (3RE) specialises in the design, build, and operations of renewable natural gas projects.   

Campari Group Launches X-Rated in India

The Campari Group recently launched its popular fusion liqueur ‘X-Rated’ in the Indian market. Known for its unique bottle shape, bold pink liquid, sweet and delicious flavour; it is one of the fastest growing flavoured spirits in Asia. Famous among young, trend-seeking females as one of the finest celebratory drink, X-Rated is made with ultra-premium vodka sourced from Champagne and Ardennes regions of France.

It is an exotic blend of ultra-premium French vodka, blood oranges from Sicily in Italy and fused with tropical mango and passion fruit juice sourced from Brazil for a unique taste experience. The tropical fruit flavour with edgy citrus notes gives a long, smooth and semi- sweet finish.

On the occasion of the launch, Daniel Schwalb, Managing Director South East Asia and India for the Campari Group, says, “We are excited to expand our India portfolio with the launch of our globally successful fusion liqueur brand, X-Rated. A perfect blend of ultra-premium French vodka and tropical fruit, X -Rated is expected to become the preferred liqueur choice, especially for the discerning women consumers in this country.”

Arnab Ghosh, Marketing Director, Campari India also shares his excitement for the launch, “We are ecstatic to debut X-Rated in the Indian market. With this launch, we are looking forward to establishing a strong foot hold in a segment of the market which finds a strong resonance with the millennial consumer.”

This unique, bright-pink liqueur is well positioned to lead the growing cocktail appreciation trend in the country. It is best enjoyed over ice, on the rocks, or as a flavourful, colourful addition to champagne or a delicious cocktail.

X-Rated is a premium liqueur made with high quality ultra-premium vodka and tropical fruit juices. The liquid is made of 100% ultra-premium French vodka from Champagne and Ardennes. The mouth coating flavour is based on blood orange from Sicily in Italy and tropical mango and passion fruits juice from Brazil. The fusion liqueur is made with 100% pure organic fruit juices which is fused with ultra-premium French vodka in a secret process and is available in 750 ML and is 17% ABV.

Brown Forman to purchase Gin Mare brands

Brown‑Forman Corporation recently announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase the Gin Mare brands from Vantguard and MG Destilerías. Upon completion of the transaction, Brown‑Forman will add Gin Mare and Gin Mare Capri to its growing portfolio. Gin Mare ultra-premium gin, is a Spanish gin with a Mediterranean-inspired recipe of botanicals, including Arbequina olives, thyme, rosemary, and basil. Gin Mare Capri, introduced last year, is made with Italian bergamot and lemons, along with Gin Mare’s four principal botanicals.

“Gin Mare and Gin Mare Capri are unique gin brands with impressive sales growth and strong distribution in important European markets. They are excellent complements to Brown‑Forman’s super-premium portfolio,” said Lawson Whiting, President and CEO, Brown‑Forman Corporation. “We believe this exciting acquisition enhances our capacity to deliver meaningful global growth for the long term.”

Gin Mare was founded in 2010 by the Giró Family of MG Destilerías and Alfonso Morodo and Antonio Pardo of Vantguard. Today, it is sold in more than 70 countries and is the largest ultra-premium gin brand in the world according to IWSR.

“Brown‑Forman is the perfect partner to bring Gin Mare to more consumers and bartenders around the world while keeping the brand’s commitment to producing a unique, high quality, Mediterranean gin,” said Manu Giró, CEO, and Marc Giró, Master Distiller, MG Destilerías.

“Our motto at Vantguard is to create brands that are alive with soul and aim to put a sparkle in our customers’ eyes. It’s been a thrill to watch consumers embrace our brand, and we are excited about the future for Gin Mare with Brown‑Forman’s resources and capabilities behind it,” added Antonio Pardo and Alfonso Morodo, Vantguard Co-CEOs.  

Gin Mare will continue to be produced at MG Destilerías in Vilanova i la Geltrú, a fishing village between the Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada. The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close within 60 business days.

Homegrown gin brand DOJA won silver in the prestigious Gin Masters Awards under the super premium category

The Gin Masters is an annual judging of gin that is conducted by the Global Spirits Masters Competition. The annual series, conducted in partnership with The Spirits Business, consists of a series of blind-tasting evaluations that cover the beverage industry’s main spirit categories.

In this annual awards, DOJA has won silver and is among the top 46 gins selected amongst 1000s. The Super premium category lists brands that are priced between £21 to £35. This is DOJA’s first award and has come in less than one year of their launch.

Started by Jai Anand, DOJA is an amalgamation of botanicals from the rich lands of India and Japan’s Wakayama prefecture. He worked along with a distillery in Japan who brought to life a recipe that gives the taste of two cultures in a sip. Japan is known for immaculate craftsmanship, perfectionism, and attention to detail that reflects not only in its food and culture, but is also translated into the unique flavours of its alcohol. What makes DOJA unique is the use of Yuzu, sansho peppers, hinoki that is combined with coriander, pepper, and cardamom from India. These botanicals lend a citrus note.

DOJA is a sip and drink format beverage and is recommended to be had on the rocks or water. DOJA has begun its distribution in Goa and Mumbai. It is priced at `2050 in Goa and `3700 in Mumbai.  

Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux sign an unprecedented Data Technical Alliance

Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux, recently launched an innovative digital partnership in data management through the roll-out of a solution called Data Portal. This solution enables a company to centralise, in a single point, all the data from its different entities around the world, facilitating their use and sharing. The Data Portal is aligned with the transformation objectives of both Groups, who have placed data at the heart of their business and growth strategy.

The tool has been developed since 2015 by the Pernod Ricard IT Data Center of Excellence team, which is already composed of 20 people and constantly growing. The Data Portal, a particularly easy-to-use and intuitive solution, is a true accelerator for digital transformation. Almost 7,000 Pernod Ricard employees find everyday information about sales or key figures for the development of their commercial strategies on it. Following initial discussions which started in 2020, the two Groups have decided to opt for an alliance between non-competitive partners, in order to enhance the Data Portal with their respective experience, co-developing technical ecosystems and benefitting from the cost synergies generated by combining their skills. This technology, which does not involve the exchange of data between the two companies, is conceded for free by Pernod Ricard, without any conditions or limitation of use. Each company then manages its data in line with legal data management requirements.

In a process of continual improvement, the collaborative and agile alliance between Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux will help accelerate the development of new data-related features and technologies and could then be opened up to other non-competitive companies, within the same legal framework and co-construction model. The project monitoring will be managed by Neoxia, a trusted third party, who will continue to ensure the platform’s developments and integration in line with the roadmap co-defined by Pernod Ricard and JCDecaux.

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman & CEO at Pernod Ricard, notes that, “The Data Portal is a wonderful asset for our Group. This solution, developed by our Data Center of Excellence, is a key tool for our growth mindset untitled the “Conviviality Platform” in which data is a major issue. The Data Portal facilitates our teams’ work in order to provide each of our markets with the right product, at the right time, at the right price, to the right consumer. We’re delighted to share this innovation with JCDecaux and to benefit from each other’s experience.”

Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and co-CEO of JCDecaux, adds, “As a company that believes in the power of collaboration to grow business, we are delighted to enter this technological alliance with Pernod Ricard that is focussed on data management. Underlining the strength of our joint approach to digital innovation, JCDecaux will play an active role in the development of the Data Portal, enhancing it with new features. Designed via an open innovation approach, this solution will help us achieve our data strategy and fulfil our objective of developing shared data management platforms within JCDecaux. This will in turn allow business units to capitalise upon this innovation for the benefit of our customers and partners, media agencies, advertisers and local authorities.”   

United Breweries launches new Heineken Silver in India

United Breweries, the country’s largest beer manufacturer and part of the Amsterdam-based Heineken group recently announced the launch of Heineken Silver, a smooth and refreshing beer that provides Indian consumers with a premium beverage that is truly designed for everyday social occasions.  

Heineken Silver is brewed by seasoned master brewers using natural ingredients, including Heineken’s famous A-yeast and quality pure malt.  

Rishi Pardal, Managing Director, United Breweries Limited, said, “Guided by our purpose of brewing the joy of true togetherness to inspire a better world, we are always looking to bring products to the market that match the needs of our consumers and keep up with ever-changing taste preferences across generations. We see modern consumers seeking beverages that are light, easy-to-drink and fit in well with their social occasions and Heineken Silver is perfectly designed for these moments. We are confident that the smooth and refreshing Heineken Silver will herald a new era of premiumisation in the Indian beer market.”  

Rajeev Sathyesh, Asia-Pacific Director, Brand – Heineken, said, “We are excited to launch this new member of the Heineken family, Heineken Silver, in India. This delightfully refreshing, smooth and easy-to-drink lager has received a lot of love in our other markets globally. We are confident that it will also appeal to the new generation of beer drinkers in India. Heineken Silver is brewed as an all-round crowd pleaser and the perfect partner to celebrate authentic moments of joy.” 

Heineken Silver is available in both on- and off-trade retail channels in Bengaluru. Heineken Silver’s 330-ml pint is priced at `120, the 500-ml can at `160 and the 650-ml bottle at `200 across off-trade retail outlets in Bengaluru. The beer comes in a sleek silver can and the iconic green bottle. Heineken Silver will also be launched in other markets very soon.  

Heineken Silver has a smooth and refreshing taste, retaining the signature fruity aroma of Heineken Original with a balanced, though slightly lower bitterness.

Angus Dundee Recovers post Pandemic

While the past 2 years have been a challenge for many alcobev companies, Angus Dundee has survived the storm and is sailing smoothly thanks to its strong lineage and expertise. They celebrate theor 10th Anniversary in India, which is a 200 million case market. Trilok Desai speaks to Brian J Megson, Director, Angus Dundee Distillers Plc. in Scotland about its global operations and more. Excerpts:

Covid-19 pandemic and in-home consumption have encouraged premiumisation in the alcobev sector and companies are moving in to cash on it. India is one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverages market globally, the scotch segment here continues to be highly aspirational for whisky consumers, that’s why the Scotch whisky imports to India have exceptionally grown in the past decade. However, it merely constitutes a 2% share of the approx. 200 million case Indian whisky industry. This is primarily because of 150% import duty makes Scotch whisky expensive to buy.

With over 19 million new consumers coming of “legal drinking age” each year, India is definitely a prospective market for Scotch whisky in wake of the relaxation in import duty, which will not only make Scotch whisky more affordable to the Indian consumer while being perceived as premium, but also supports domestic producers in reducing their cost of production.

It’s been 10 years since Angus Dundee India started its operations in the Indian market, with a strong lineage and expertise to deliver consistent quality product. ADIPL has created a niche and made its presence felt over the years by not only offering Bulk Scotch, but specific customised solutions. This has been instrumental in sustaining and stabilising Angus Dundee’s position in the highly competitive Bulk Scotch Whisky market, says Brian.

Bulk Scotch sector is a very volatile and highly price sensitive in India he adds. As a result, Angus Dundee faces a lot of turbulence every now and then. But at the same time, the quality and consistency that the company offers their clients can’t be compromised by the fluctuations in prices.

Angus Dundee currently produces and exports ‘Tomintoul’ Speyside Single Malt Scotch whisky and ‘Glencadam’ Highland Single Malt Scotch whisky as their key brands along with ‘The Dundee’ and ‘Parkers’ Blended Scotch Whisky, says Brian.

Angus Dundee has seen a decade of steady growth and the company has now established itself in the bulk spirits space with aspirations to grow in the retail space now.

“Their bulk business is doing well following some logistical challenges caused largely by the pandemic. MacRoys whisky is on a soft roll out and we have three versions now including a peaty and a sherry version. The management is happy with our progress and the market for Scotch is very strong. You are likely to see more of our single malts and other ranges of Blended Scotch hit the market in the near future,” adds Brian.

He feels that Angus Dundee India’s strong suit comes in with the capability of supplying Scotch whisky in bulk for bottling locally along with offering a wide range of bulk options for their customers comprising Vatted Malt Spirit, Blended Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Blended Grain Scotch Whisky.

In addition to this their varied experienced and consistent liquid quality that provides the finest Scotch whisky, distilled, blended and bottled in Scotland is of particular importance to customers who are creating their own brand. The customers’ can create their own brand and label them which in many cases include value-for-money to exclusive premium brands.

Angus Dundee India has also introduced Bottled in India Blended Scotch Whisky in select markets under the Brand Name ‘MacRoys” at three different price points out of which two are new to segment, namely ‘Extra Peat’ and ‘Sherry Finish’.

Focussing on new to segment offerings like Extra Peat and Sherry finish in the Bottled in India Blended Scotch Whisky category and maintaining consistent best quality liquid, Angus Dundee is hopeful of creating their own niche in the Indian market. And as for the Bottled in Scotland portfolio, it is gradually increasing its width of distribution by entering select markets regardless of competition as their products are in standalone segments.

Talking about the Duty Free business, Brian says that it hasn’t been their top agenda in the past. However as they are investing more in the single malt brands, it is an area that they are looking closely with plans to to grow more into the key travel retail outlets around the world.

Excise takes a hit in Delhi; Political battle between AAP and BJP

• Delhi government discontinues Excise Policy 2021-22 from August 1, 2022

• 468 private liquor shops operating in the city, shut from August 1 as licenses expire on July 31

•  Mad rush at liquor vends as supply chain affected

It is a massive political battle out in the National capital between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the casualty has been the liquor industry. While the battle rages on, there is short supply of liquor and with private vends closing down, there is mad rush for liquor of whatever that is left.

As such Delhi was experiencing short supply of liquor for some months now, but the government did not really pull up its socks.

While the situation was such, came another shocker for the AAP government when its Chief Secretary on July 8 reported that there has been ‘deliberate and gross procedural lapses to provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees for the year 2021-22’. The Chief Secretary’s report also pointed out to prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules 1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009 and Delhi Excise Rules – 2010. 

Based on the Chief Secretary’s letter and the corruption murmur in the capital, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor,
Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

Alcobev industry at its wits end

The alcobev industry which had hailed the Delhi Government’s new Excise Policy 2021-22 is at its wits end with the political battle going on. Many industry experts had hailed the policy but had complained that implementation was the stumbling block.

AAP blames BJP for the crisis

However, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia in a press conference has put all the blame on the BJP for the excise crisis, stating that private vendors were threatened by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, forcing them to shut shop. The BJP, on the other hand, has alleged that the Delhi Government had doled out licenses to private vendors on a quid-pro-quo basis, charging AAP of large scale corruption. The two parties are leveling charges against each other while the alcobev sector and the end-consumer has to bear it all.

Government vends would be revived: Sisodia

Manish Sisodia said that the government vends would be back from August 1 as private vends were ‘scared’ to venture into this business. The number of government vends, would not exceed 850. Stating that there was an orchestrated campaign by the BJP to fail the new excise policy, he said only 468 shops were running and that number would further reduce drastically from August 1. “Their (BJP) plan is to stop legal sale of liquor and promote illegal sale of liquor in which the BJP has stake of thousands of crores of rupees,” he said and referred to the Gujarat model where there is prohibition, but illegal liquor trade is strong, leading to illicit liquor, consequently to hooch tragedies.

Citing that the AAP government had planned it’s vends to cater to the population without exceeding the number of vends from 850, he cited how in BJP-ruled States the number of vends was higher, thus encouraging liquor trade, both legal and illegal. There was one outlet for over 4,000 people in Gurugram; one for over 12,000 people in Bangalore; one for over 700 people in Goa, while in Delhi it was one outlet for over 22,000 people.

Another reason for the BJP to derail the Delhi policy, he said was as the former feared that the state revenue would jump from `6000 crore to `9,500 crore which would mean the success of the new policy.

BJP holds Sisodia responsible

Meanwhile, the BJP has upped its ante charging the AAP led government of corruption to which the Delhi Chief Minister has termed it as ‘false and that the BJP was afraid of AAP’s growth’. The BJP said the Excise Department, which is headed by Sisodia, reportedly gave a waiver of `144.36 crore to the licensees on the tendered license fee citing pandemic as an excuse. 

Policy was to give enriching customer experience, now going back to government vends

The 2021 policy was to pave the way for a range of sweeping reforms to boost excise revenue, crack down on the liquor mafia and to improve customer experience. The Government wanted to provide a ‘decent standard of customer experience commensurate to the stature of the National Capital’ and one of the most noticeable changes was abolishing the iron grills in front of the shops. The policy amendment also allowed for online sales in sync with the ‘new normal’.  There is no mention of what would happen to online sales, considering that the supply chain itself is adversely affected.

Framework for grant of licenses

The process of granting of the license was to ensure equitable coverage so that there is no instance of un-served and underserved areas in Delhi including Non-Conforming Areas. The number of retail liquor vends had been limited to 849, including five super premium retail vends, but absolutely no Government owned liquor vends for IMFL/FL.

The policy had ended on May 31 but extended by two months offering the retail licensees chance to renew their licenses paying fees on the pro rata basis for the extra period. However, many license holders did not opt for the extension and shut shops as they were already finding it difficult to reach break even after paying high license fees, some liquor traders have claimed.

Then there was the issue of some retailers giving massive discounts up to 40% to consumers while some big players offered ‘buy one, get one free’ schemes. The government intervened and capped the discount at 25%, but some retail shops went beyond that, some in the trade have complained.

Excise policy extant vs Delhi Master Plan rules

Under the excise policy extant, each licensee had to open three stores in each municipal ward. However, out of 272 municipal wards, 100 were non-conforming where the shops could not open due to action by civic bodies against violations of Delhi Master Plan rules, officials said thus leading to inadequate liquor stores.

CIABC hopes the policy will be tweaked

As mentioned there were many good features in the policy but the government failed to implement. The Director General of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), Mr. Vinod Giri has said that the industry had taken up the matter with the Delhi Government to reduce the size of the zones as to make the trade viable. He said by doing that it would have reduced the financial stake of licensees, improved loss bearing capacity and prevented monopolies. He attributed the failure of the policy to bureaucratic apathy towards trade, while the policy per se was good, befitting a modern metropolis such as Delhi. He was hopeful that the policy would be tweaked, but right now the political din has taken over.

There have been many such niggling issues that the Delhi Government did not iron out, while it kept patting itself on its back that it had come up with a ‘great policy’ that eliminated corruption and sale of seconds liquor. But the reality on the ground has been different, where actions did not match the words the AAP government kept bandying about. The capital is going to be mired with this controversy for some time now. The alcobev sector awaits new directives, till then the end consumer will have to find ways to quench his or her thirst.