Print Edition - 2014-10-07 | MONEY
Dashain comes as boon for liquor business
Oct 6, 2014-
Dashain is a happy time for liquor traders as business takes off on a vertical trajectory with revellers quaffing large amounts of alcohol during the festival.
The liquor business has been in the dumps for the last few years as the anti-drunk driving campaign of the traffic police proved to be very effective.
Restaurants had also been asked to close by a certain hour at night. Due to the operation, motorists and motorcycle riders stayed off drinks, and sales plunged.
“The festival season is a great relief for us with sales jumping by around 25 percent from normal times,” said Bishnu Khadka, general secretary of the Federation of Liquor Associations Nepal.
“Sales started climbing from Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain festival, on September 25, and the upward trend is still continuing.” He added that sales were up for all segments from low-end to premium.
According to the association, the domestic liquor market is estimated to be worth Rs 620 million annually. Khadka said that around 70 percent of the total liquor requirement was fulfilled by domestic products.
“We are seeing an increasing number of imported whiskeys and wines these days, but domestic products dominate the overall liquor market,” he added.
A majority of the foreign liquor brands sold in Nepal are imported from the UK, Australia, Spain, South Africa and France.
Sanjay Shrestha, sales and marketing manager of Highland Distillery, said that Nepali manufacturers had bee trying to tap the premium market these days. “We are facing tough competition from imported liquors in the premium segment,” he added. In a bid to cash in on increasing demand, Highland recently launched Star ultra premium vodka in the market. Vodka tops the overall liquor sales followed by whiskey, rum and beer. However, demand for wine went up this year.
“Wine prices resmained comparatively stable this year, and new brands also entered the market delivering quality products at affordable prices,” said Gyanu Prasai, chairman of Snowman Winery. “The entire extended family and other relatives gather during the festival and drink wine which has turned into a social drink. This has also boosted sales.”
According to the association, around 50 percent of the wines sold in the market are domestic products.
Published: 07-10-2014 09:46