Party month saw city down more beer

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Chit­taran­jan.Tem­b­hekar @times­group.com (in lakh bulk litres) MUM­BAI CITY MUM­BAI SUB­URB

Mum­bai: Fig­ures show that the city is drink­ing more beer this win­ter as com­pared to last year. In De­cem­ber 2018, beer con­sump­tion was 18.4% up in south Mum­bai over 2017 while wine and IMFL sales dipped by 1.2% and 0.6% re­spec­tively, show ex­cise depart­ment sta­tis­tics. This, bar own­ers say, in­di­cates the de­mand for “health­ier” bev­er­ages with less pure spirit con­tent.

In the sub­urbs too, beer con­sump­tion in­creased com­pared to IMFL and wine sale growth. Here, beer con­sump­tion was 27.4% up in De­cem­ber 2018 over last year, far ahead of 8.9% jump in IMFL con­sump­tion and 5.6% rise in wine sales.

Pres­i­dent of Ahar, an as­so­ci­a­tion of ho­tels and restau­rants, Santosh Shetty said peo­ple are opt­ing for cheaper op­tions like beer cans. How­ever, for­mer Ahar pres­i­dent Adarsh Shetty said the ex­cise data for De­cem­ber may be re­flect­ing con­sump­tion in the ear­lier days of the month when it is not win­ter yet and peo­ple still pre­fer beer.

A re­tailer at­tached to the As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­gres­sive Re­tail Liquor Ven­dors said as De­cem­ber 31 was a Mon­day, many cel­e­brated out­side. “In­stead of mak­ing pegs, peo­ple pre­ferred to buy beer cans off the counter and con­sume,” he said.

Sukesh Shetty, an­other for­mer sec­re­tary of Ahar, which has over around 8,000 bars and restau­rants as its mem­bers, said for the young­sters pre­fer beer, a ready-to-drink bev­er­age, as it’s al­co­hol con­tent is less.

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