Travel Retail is also a Reflection of Local Culture

As global travel increases, Indian consumers are showing a strong preference for culturally significant spirits like whisky and liqueur, says Guy May from House of Somrus. This trend is influencing GTR offerings, with a rising demand for Indian flavors and brands that cater to a diverse and globally-minded audience. Somrus Cream Liqueur and Kurvball Whiskey are examples of products aligning with this shift, blending traditional Indian tastes with global appeal.

New Update
Guy May, Director (Global Business), House of Somrus

With the number of Indian globetrotters increasing by the day, an emerging trend is that of purchasing liquor that represents the cultural significance of that country. This is particularly true of whisky and liqueur, as Guy May, Director (Global Business), House of Somrus, points out.

The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world comprising approximately 18 million people. Naturally, it would have a significant influence on alcobev purchases at GTR. "Consumer purchasing behaviours are impacted by culture and we already see an increase in Indian whisky and liqueur brands being offered in travel retail assortments," points out Guy May.

"Consumers are seeking new flavour experiences and product versatility. Global flavours are in high demand at GTR as is the mixability for a growing international cocktail culture," points out Guy. Somrus Cream Liqueur has been introduced from the House of Somrus and they have expanded with the introduction of Kurvball Whiskey, a flavoured American whiskey inspired by their love for BBQ,

Inspired by the flavours and culture of India, Somrus is positioned as the only liqueur that represents one-fifth of the world's population.

"This unique positioning promotes Indian culture through the channel, attracting both Indian and non-Indian travellers, as global consumers are increasingly embracing the flavours and trends of the country," Guy asserts.

Somrus Coffee Evergreen


Outbound and Inbound Perspective

He thinks outbound flyers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on the desire to take with them a piece of the country they are departing versus inbound flyers enticed by a price value proposition or access to a brand not available in the local market- almost a difference of making a decision with the heart versus the head.

"In that respect, India presents a hot market and all of the forecasts the company has seen indicate that optimism will continue for the foreseeable future. Growth prospects for travel retail in India will mirror that as new Indian airports open and more Indians travel," Guy opines.

The India travel retail market size is estimated at 2.03 billion USD in 2024, and is expected to reach 5.40 billion USD by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 21.59 percent. Indian consumers, whether travel retail shoppers or local shoppers, will increasingly demand beverage alcohol brands that reflect them, their culture and local flavours.

The House of Somrus


The company was founded by the husband-wife team of Pankaj and Swati Garg and their love of India. Somrus Cream Liqueur is a fresh approach to the category inspired by the flavours of India. "When it comes to global travel retail, the company is increasing its engagement with travel retail consumers through its traditional Indian holiday promotions. This is particularly around Diwali to encourage gift giving and celebrating with family and friends," he elaborates.

And even though the challenges are numerous, as Guy states, as a brand creator and innovator, the company is intently focused on the consumers. "We rely heavily on great distribution partners such as Aspri Spirits to navigate local regulatory hurdles on our behalf," he adds. 

As for the trends in the GTR sector, Guy says that whether a shopper is in a hurry or just spending time until their next flight, it has been their experience that one of the best ways to engage travel retail consumers on their terms is through store level brand ambassadors who can expedite or educate depending on a shopper's time constraints.