Source: Research and Markets
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- Behnoush Iran Co
Iran bans alcoholic drink
Following the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 the government issued a ban on the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks. The Iranian police strictly enforce this law and breaking it results in punishment decided by the Islamic court. At the beginning of the Islamic Revolution persons selling or consuming alcoholic drinks were punished by flagellation. By the end of the review period the punishment has changed to financial penalties for consumption and jail for the sale of alcoholic drinks. The Iranian state does not accept the sale of alcoholic drinks to tourists or foreigners.
The strong demand encourages under-the-counter sales
Although the sale or consumption of alcoholic drinks is strictly forbidden by the state, there is a huge demand for such products. The number of 15-64 year-old people in Iran has reached over 48 million, which indicates the strong potential for illegal sales of alcoholic drinks. According to official statistics, the number of illegal importers is increasing year-on-year. Alcohol is commonly imported from neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Armenia, and Afghanistan. Moreover, alcohol can easily be purchased in boundary cities of Iran.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink
available under the counter through supermarkets/hypermarkets and independent
food stores in more affluent areas. Moreover, it is widely recognised that beer
is commonly consumed during student parties and other social gatherings. Most of
these products enter Iran via its northern boundaries and in terms of pricing
they are more affordable than other types of alcoholic drinks.
Behnoush Iran Co dominates legal beer in Iran
Non-alcoholic beer is highly developed and established in Iran. It benefits from the very active performance of Behnoush Iran Co, a local manufacturer holding the majority of volume sales of non-alcoholic beer. Although young Iranians are the company's main target group it also tries to tap into other demographics by promoting non-alcoholic beer and malt drinks as good beverages for pregnant women.
The government increases its efforts to control the illegal import of alcoholic drinks
The Iranian government struggles to keep the illegal import of alcoholic drinks under control. The increase in contraband forced the government to introduce a new anti-smuggling programme in 2007. The new measures include increased audit controls on Iran's borders and police surveillance of railways and roads. This programme proved successful to a certain extent, as many smugglers were afraid to continue the practice of hiding alcoholic drinks among other goods.
The illegal production of alcohol results in a high number of casualties
The demand for alcoholic drinks has increased in spite of the official ban. This demand has encouraged the production of alcohol in local workshops. It is common to refill the bottles of branded products with illegally produced alcohol and sell them as original products. This illegal supply of alcoholic drinks contains harmful substances and it results in a high number of victims each year. According to national statistics, in 2007 alone, 23 people died after consuming such products and 71 people became blind due to the high density of ethanol in illegally manufactured alcohol.
... Payvand News - 08/13/08 ... --