INDIA – Ciro, an India-based liquor startup, has announced plans to introduce German wine brands Becksteiner and J. Oppmann to India

With the announcement, Indian alcohol enthusiasts can now look forward to raising a toast to a glass of premium German sekt.

Better still, they can prepare their taste buds to taste a sparkling wine poured from a 14-carat gold plated bottle by brand J. Oppmann that once made champagne for the king of Bavaria.

Ciro is importing the brands to cash in on the pandemic times when consumers are grounded by travel curbs, leaving tipplers craving for offbeat international alcoholic beverage brands.

Indian consumers are typically known to shop for liquor, perfumes, cigarettes, chocolates, beauty and watches from duty free outlets at airports with price tags nearly 40% lower due to tax exemption.

This option is however, not availabe to most Indians since the pandemic as travel restrictions have almost brought grounded international transport.

“Indians are not travelling overseas as much. They are investing in best of imported alcoholic beverages in the domestic market for home consumption,” said Roshni Hemdev, managing director – business, Ciro.

In October, Ciro made its debut in the country’s liquor ecosystem with the launch of Brunonia, a heritage wheat beer brand by Hofbrauhaus Wolters, a 390-year-old brewery in north Germany.

The company is said to be exploring key markets of Goa and Andhra Pradesh as the next pitstop for the beer brand.

After a successful run during the Covid-19 period, the homegrown liquor firm will now import and retail the wine brands in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka before a national roll out.

It has already built an impressive portfolio which includes red, white and sparkling wines.

A rose secco and a boutique champagne are part of the portfolio expansion plan this summer.

A premium gin and vodka from Germany may be added later this year, the company revealed in a statement.

Overall, liquor companies clocked full recovery and sales growth exceeding pre-Covid levels in the festive quarter ended December.

This was a bounce back from the severe sales cramp experienced after the lockdown was implemented across most parts of the country since March.

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