a shopper considers buying wine

The latest data shows New Zealanders are buying less alcohol, fizzy drinks, and cordials than previously. According to Nielson data, this decline in certain products comes despite increased spending in the beverages market; last year Kiwis spent $3.3 billion on beverages, slightly more than the $3.1 billion spent the year before.

Of drinks sold in supermarkets, alcoholic drinks make up 45 percent and have decreased by 0.8 percent compared to five years previously. The sharpest decline in purchase came from Sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and cask white wines.

Flavoured milks and chilled fruit juice rose by 16.3 percent and coffee drinks by 16.1 percent, showing consumers are putting more of their money toward innovative, functional drinks.

Retail NZ general manager Greg Harford said he found the decline in liquor sales interesting, even though the decrease was smaller than one percent.

“People can buy beer and wine from a number of other retailers: specialty liquor stores, vineyards, direct to consumer businesses operating online,” said Harford. “It’s a strong, competitive market, 0.8 per cent isn’t a too significant drop but it does show supermarkets are holding their own.”

The fact that alcohol consumption is on the decline in New Zealand has been making news for some time. Harford stated the four major consumer trends in beverages are currently convenience, premiumisation, health, and consumer experimentation. “Products that don’t focus their product innovations in these areas are more likely to fall from favour with shoppers,” said Harford.