The state of Kerala in India set a new record for liquor sales during the Onam festival, garnering ₹665 crore (US$90.3 million) in the first nine days, marking a ₹41-crore (US$5.6 million) increase from the previous year. This information was shared by Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), which reported selling liquor bottles worth ₹116 crore (US$15.8 million), a slight increase from last year’s ₹112 crore (US$15.2 million).
The Bevco outlet in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur district, topped the list with the highest liquor sale of ₹1.06 crore (US$144,000) on the ninth day of Onam, known as Uthradam. This was closely followed by the Ashramam Bevco outlet in Kollam, which recorded liquor sales of ₹1.01 crore (US$137,000).
Uthradam, a significant day in the Onam festival, marks the beginning of the festival in several regions of Kerala. On this day, people participate in grand preparations to honour the arrival of King Mahabali, a tradition also known as the First Onam. The celebration involves the preparation of various dishes using freshly harvested fruits and vegetables.
While the liquor sales figures are impressive, Bevco’s Managing Director disclosed to The News Minute that these are not final. The revenue is expected to rise once the total turnover is calculated.
According to the Times of India, three Bevco outlets reported sales close to the 90-lakh mark. These included Changanassery with sales worth ₹95.7 lakh (US$130,000), Court Junction Cherthala with ₹93.7 lakh (US$127,000), and Payyannur with ₹91.6 lakh (US$124,000).
In anticipation of higher revenue in liquor sales, Bevco issued a notice to all its outlets, urging the staff to ensure smooth customer service. The notice also requested employees to refrain from taking any leaves during the season and to ensure the availability of digital payment options at all outlets.
Bevco officials predict that the total liquor sales until the end of Onam could reach up to ₹770 crore (US$105 million), a noticeable increase from last year’s ₹700.6 crore (US$95.3 million).