In 2021, the on-trade enjoyed a rebound in beer volume sales in the first half of the year, but this was followed by a weak second half as the delta and omicron variants led to more restrictive drinking behaviour. Within the off-trade, demand moderated after strong retail volume growth in 2020, although total sales remained elevated above pre-pandemic levels, buoyed by strong domestic demand.
Changes to New Zealand’s drink driving laws in 2014 have nurtured retail volume growth in low alcohol beers over the review period, with players such as DB Breweries pushing their Heineken Premium Light brand, particularly in the on-trade. For a period of time, this resonated with drivers who were looking to enjoy a beer and socialise in on-trade environments.
In a similar vein to the drivers behind alcohol free beer, health and wellness considerations are driving demand for low carbohydrate beers alongside low calorie beers. While the developments in the alcohol free space have centred mostly on lagers, the combination of health and wellness and craft trends have led to the emergence of low calorie ales.
While the rest of the world began to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic through the gradual re-opening of international borders and resumption of international travel and tourism, New Zealand’s reopening has been much slower. In late 2021, the New Zealand Government outlined its phased reopening of the border to New Zealanders abroad wanting to return home without having to apply for a Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) spot, as well as to international tourists wanting to visit the country.
The way in which New Zealanders drink beer has changed irrevocably as health and wellness considerations are now firmly front of mind for consumers. Gone are the days of excess binge drinking as consumers become more conscious and moderate beer consumption.
With the borders closed in 2021 and high levels of discretionary spending among New Zealanders, demand for premium brands was prominent among beer drinkers in New Zealand. Additionally, international supply chain disruptions and strong media attention has resulted in a heightened sense of appreciation for local brands in general, and beer was no exception with local premium and craft brands continuing to perform well.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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