Rise of low-alcohol drinks not seen as threat to beverage sector

More and more kiwis are experimenting with low-alcohol drinks, mainly for health reasons.
Photo: 123 RF

A study by the Alcoholic Beverage Council found that more and more New Zealanders are opening up to low-alcohol beverages.

Running for four years, this annual survey aims to show how New Zealanders perceive problems related to alcohol.

This year’s results show that 56% of respondents will try low-alcohol beverages in 2022, up 9% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, 69% of people have tasted premium beverages such as spirits, wines and liqueurs, up 13% from 2021.

Robert Brewer, deputy chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Council, said the results show the potential for positive changes toward more responsible drinking behavior.

“None of these statistics are surprising given that the most common reasons for choosing low-alcohol beverages are health (40%), driving (28%) and avoiding addiction (27%). is not.”

He said both drinking high-strength alcohol slowly and drinking low-strength options were positive changes.

He said a “sip and taste” approach to drinking would help many people gain more control over their alcohol consumption.

Brewer said the alcoholic beverage industry supports improving the way people drink and that it is not against the interests of the industry and is represented by the council.

“It’s that people are drinking less.”

“But it also means that if people drink more responsibly and if the drinking culture fits into New Zealand’s culture, our business will last longer.”

Brewer said he has observed a growing popularity of non-alcoholic beer products through increased sales over the past decade.

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