Madhulika Bhattacharya, Chief Consumer, La Cave

 

Educating the customer is the key to  the  growth  of the sparkling wine    market,    according    to

Madhulika Bhattacharya, the creator of the fine wine boutique, La Cave, which stocks 310 labels at the Select Citywalk, Saket New Delhi.

Having      caught      the      attention of    aficionados    and    novices    alike with her consumer friendly wine appreciation   events,   Bhattacharya   is all for “communication in friendly, non- intimidating ways” to let people grasp such basic information as the difference between champagne and prosecco, for instance. “Keeping this objective in mind, we do a number of interesting consumer- led events at partner hotels and restaurants that are primarily education based without being intimidating to the guests.”

“Customers find prosseco and other non- c ham pagne sparkling wines a lot more pocket friendly and    approachable than champagne.”

Sharing her insights into consumer behaviour, Bhattacharya says pricing remains the most important factor in determining purchase decisions in the Indian context. It is this factor that’s been primarily  responsible  for  the  surge  in  popularity of prosecco and other non-champagne sparkling wines. “Customers find them a lot more pocket friendly and approachable than champagne,” says Bhattacharya.

Brand name and quality follow pricing in the hierarchy  of  factors  driving  purchase  decision. The price advantage and improving quality, for instance, are responsible for the sudden rise in the popularity of Indian sparkling wines. And among them, Bhattacharya rates Chandon as a “good and popular product among the top-selling sparkling wine brands in India”.

The biggest spoiler, though, the burdensome import duty and excise load on liquor imported into India. “The system is also extremely complicated, for each state follow its own registration and excise laws, which affects the ease of doing business,” says Bhattacharya. Tax reliefs from the Centre and the states, Bhattacharya adds, can go a long way in ensuring better growth for the wine market across categories. But is anyone listening?

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