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India. Wine, Beer Take Fizz out of IMFL Brands

A new study has found that ‘absolute alcohol’ intake via Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands and beer and wine combined in the state has fallen by 9.64 per cent in the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. On the flip side, the alcohol intake via beer and wine separately has risen by 61.83 per cent and 249.17 per cent respectively.

Absolute alcohol intake through IMFL brands (brandy, rum, whiskey, gin and vodka), has dipped by 13.24 per cent, shows the study by Alcohol and Drug Information Centre-India (ADIC-India) based on liquor sales data of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco).

The study compared liquor sales during the six-month period from April to September 2014 and 2015. It was based on the norm that IMFL sold by Bevco contains 45 per cent absolute alcohol (or in layman’s terms, ‘pure’ alcohol), while beer and wine have six and 12 per cent respectively. World Health Organisation (WHO) norms suggest that alcohol consumption be determined in terms of ‘absolute alcohol’ consumed, ADIC-India director Johnson Edayaranmula said, explaining the reasons for conducting the study. “People say beer is relatively safer than whiskey. But you don’t dilute beer. In effect, drinking one bottle of beer is equivalent to drinking one-and-half pegs of alcohol,” Edayaranmula said.

The total reduction in liquor volume - IMFL, beer and wine - in 2015 compared to 2014 is a little over one crore litres, of which the alcohol content alone amounts to 47.15 lakh litres. The total volume of IMFL alone sold went down by 1.37 crore litres, courtesy the closure of bars in the state, and the government policy to shutter 10 per cent of Bevco and Consumerfed outlets every year. Of this pure alcohol content amounts to 61.82 lakh litres.

On the other hand, with the licensing of over 700 new wine and beer parlours, beer sales shot up by a little over 2.32 crore litres, of which absolute alcohol content amounted to 13.92 lakh litres. In the case of wine, the sales went up by 6.20 lakh litres. The alcohol content in it amounts to 74,423 litres.

“The UDF government’s liquor policy has succeeded in reducing the total absolute alcohol consumption, which is a positive outcome,” Edayaranmula said.

“At the same time, the government should seriously study the alarming increase in beer sales, which is going to affect our young generation in a big way. Serious intervention is required in this direction,” he said.

Absolute alcohol intake takes a dip

Absolute alcohol intake through IMFL brands (brandy, rum, whiskey, gin and vodka), has dipped by 13.24 per cent, shows the study by Alcohol and Drug Information Centre-India based on liquor sales data of the (Bevco)

26 Feb. 2016

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