It is interesting to note, that Indians have become, large consumers of two diverse liquids. Yes, Indians are consuming liquor and milk in huge quantities and the sales of both have crossed $ 2 billion mark individually. Indians are already supposed to be the largest consumers of whiskey in the world and now the per capita consumptionof milk, is also amongst the highest in the world.
The consumption of liquor is looked down by large sections of our society and the State of Gujarat has prohibition ever since independence. On the other hand, milk drinking is considered essential for developing ahealthy body. It is also a social custom in many communities to offer milk to important guests on cerain important and religous occassions. The changing lifestyles are now leading to easing of the taboo associated with liquor consumption and it is now offered to guests in many families, especially, in urban areas and the metro cities. Also liquor consumption is becoming increasingly popular and socially accepted in restaurants and hotels. In North India, it is now being increasingly served, in marraige and other social functions.
But one does not serve milk in social gatherings nor it is consumed the way liquor is, in hotels and restaurants. Yet the consumption of milk is increasing. India is now the largest producer of milk in the world. It is therefore to be concluded that milk is being consumed by large sections of the society as a health drink. More and more children must be consuming milk ,due to the widespread belief, that growing children need milk to develop strong bones in a healthy body.
The liquor brand MacDowell No 1, manufactured by United Spirits,had a sales of $2.15 billion last fiscal and the famous iconic brand Amul touched sales of $2.5 bn for its milk and milk products,during the same period. Macdowell No I's whiskey sales were $930 million much ahead of its rum sales of $645million and brandy sales of $485 million. In Amul's sales, nearly 50%, is contributed by liqud milk.
The growth of milk sales in the country is chiefly due to the pioneerng efforts of the cooperative sector, mainly by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), based in Anand, Gujarat and owners of the brand Amul. The legendary Dr V.Kurien was associated with this cooperative almost since its inception before independence and with a very able team led to the establishment of various diaries in the cooperative sector leading to India now becoming the largest milk producer in the world. The Bollywood film Manthan depicts the story of the formation of this cooperative, in its early days and is worth watching. It is said that the actor Girish Karnad played the role of Dr Kurien.
Both the brand names Amul and Mcdowell No 1 have achieved remarkable success for their products and consumers have developed high degree of trust in them. Amul can now be said to be an iconic Indian brand, selling besides liquid milk, a large number of milk based products like ice cream,choclates and sweets etc.
Both these FMCG sector brands will continue to register strong sales. One only hopes Amul is ahead of McDowell No 1 for purely healthy reasons.