Even before the outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand there were reports that on-trade sales of beer were stagnating. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 on-trade sales of beer plummeted, with sales of kegs to bars and restaurants being the hardest hit.
With COVID-19 generating a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty there was a trend towards well-known and trusted brands such as Heineken. Standard lager remained the dominant choice, with domestic lager being the preferred choice.
Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 the demand for craft beer was seen to be stable, having developed a strong following of enthusiasts within the country. With sources indicating that a further 11 breweries opened during the last year it is seen to be a thriving industry.
Beer in New Zealand is projected to see a decline in off-trade volume terms in 2021. The return to work and other social and leisure occasions is likely to see some consumers cut back on their at-home beer consumption habits that they developed during lockdown.
While the category has shown signs of maturity, seasonal and batch-focused new product development is expected to continue influencing the performance of beer over the forecast period. This activity is predicted to leverage health and wellness trends, with low/non alcohol and low carb variants growing in importance to both major brewers and craft brewers in response to evolving consumer preferences.
There are expected to be an increasing number of brewpubs and local suburban “taprooms” appearing in New Zealand over the forecast period where consumers will be allowed to serve homemade beer, with this building on the growing interest and demand for craft beer. At the other end of the spectrum, there will likely be more rationalisation within the larger distribution channels, with supermarkets for example giving over more shelf space to craft beer as pack sizes increase.
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This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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