The state government’s plan is to produce low-alcohol alcoholic beverages from fruits and crops other than food grains.
The Kerala government’s plan to create low-alcohol alcoholic beverages fits in with the global trend of increasing sales of lower-alcohol ready-to-drink (RTD) drinks in exciting flavors. The state government’s plan is to produce low-alcohol alcoholic beverages from fruits and crops other than food grains. The intent is to promote the state’s agricultural sector and small-scale manufacturing sector, rather than compete with large beverage producers, state excise minister MV Govindan Master told FE.
The budget for the next fiscal year has set aside Rs2 crore for the project intended to produce ethanol and other value-added tapioca products at Tuber Crops Research, Thiruvananthapuram, on a trial basis. “Currently, the state produces only 20% of the drink consumed. If we can increase the share at least marginally, we can create employment in the manufacturing sector and provide better returns for our farmers,” the minister said.
The state government’s policy is to involve the cooperative sector in the sourcing of fruits such as cashew apple, pineapple and plantain, as well as to allow fruit-based wineries in the private sector. The government also believes that alcoholic beverages made in Kerala will have a global market. A lager made in the UK by a Keralite with Kerala Matta rice grown in the Western Ghats and called ‘Komban’, the name for a majestic tusk in Malayalam, is gaining popularity in the UK market. Mandakini, an unripened sugarcane-based alcoholic drink with Indian flavors, is also doing well in Canada. Three men who are originally from Ernakulam district are behind the drink and they say its inspiration is arak or local distilled drink made in Kerala.
The state is primarily a brown liquor market, with brandy as the favorite and with a 45-50% market share, followed by rum. But the pandemic and internal liquor consumption have caused a paradigm shift in consumption patterns. Vinod Giri, director general of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (India) (CIABC), said consumers are now experimenting with experiences beyond the purely functional benefit of alcohol, which, in addition to adding new consumers to the alcohol category , the social acceptance of alcoholic beverages is accelerating as a normal consumer product. CIABC is the industry association that represents alcoholic beverage companies.
“We are witnessing a wave of innovations in the Indian alcoholic beverage market. We previously saw the rise of Indian craft gin and the now ready-to-drink segment is witnessing brand launches with a diversified offering. This is a healthy sign of market development,” he added. According to a study by market research and data company YouGov, wine and beer are more popular than whiskey in India. The study also indicated that women in India are driving wine in the market. seem to encourage.
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