Spirits up, Beer and Wine down

a shopper considers buying wine

Spirits available for consumption rose to 100 million litres and 20 percent of total alcohol available for consumption in 2021, Stats NZ said today.

“The total volume of spirits available for consumption rose 11.6 percent in 2021, making it the seventh annual rise in a row,” said international trade manager Alasdair Allen.

The volume of spirit-based drinks, such as ready-to-drink or RTD beverages, rose 13.6 percent to a total of 84 million litres. This followed a 5.4 percent increase in 2020, and a 5.8 percent increase in 2019.

The volume of traditional spirits, such as vodka, whisky, and gin, rose 2.3 percent.

Total wine volumes fall in 2021

The volume of wine available to the New Zealand market fell 5.0 percent in 2021, in contrast to a rise in the previous year.

“This year’s wine volume available to the domestic market is over 107 million litres, the lowest volume since 2015,” Allen said.

“This was partly because of a fall in local production due to a smaller harvest.”

The volume of wine made from grapes fell 5.5 percent to 88 million litres, following a rise of 4.9 percent in 2020, and a fall of 2.5 percent in 2019.

The volume of wine made from other fruit and vegetables (mostly cider) fell for the first time in six years, down 3.5 percent in 2021 to 18 million litres.

Volume of beer falls

Total volume of beer available fell 0.3 percent in 2021 to 292 million litres. This fall follows a 1.7 percent decrease in 2020, and a 1.6 percent rise in 2019.

Although the total volume of beer was down, the volume of high alcohol percentage beer rose. Beer with an alcoholic content between 4.35 and 5 percent was up 11 percent to 141 million litres, and beer with alcoholic content above 5 percent was up 4.7 percent to 47 million litres.

The volume of low alcohol beer (below 2.5 percent) increased 1.6 million litres (20 percent), following five consecutive falls.

These rises contrasted with a fall in the volume of medium-strength beer (between 2.5 and 4.35 percent alcohol), down 16 percent on a year earlier.