Stats NZ data confirms – we’re drinking differently   

Stats NZ data confirms – we’re drinking differently   

Just released Stats NZ data on beer, wine and spirits consumption December 2023 shows that we are drinking less and are drinking in a different way.

Our consumption has declined in the past year over all categories by 4.3% to 477 million litres.  Beer has declined by 4.4% to 281 million litres; wine by 2.4% to 99 million litres and spirits fell 5.7% to 97 million litres.

Since the data began 16 years ago the number of standard drinks available for consumption has declined by 12.3%. Health NZs low-risk alcohol drinking advice for women is no more than 10 standard drinks a week and men no more than 15 standard drinks a week.  

“Some of this cultural change reflects that we are drinking differently including sipping and savouring a beverage and turning to low and no-alcohol beverages,” said NZABC executive director Virginia Nicholls.  

In recent years New Zealand breweries, distilleries and winemakers have invested in innovation to enhance their no/low beer, wine and spirits offerings, with greater choice and better flavour.

A poll of 1,000 New Zealanders in December 2023  found 55% (up from 49% in 2021) of respondents drinking low-alcohol beverages at least some of the time, and some of us prefer low alcohol beverages.

The NZ annual Health Survey  tells us that more of us are drinking in a more responsible way with 84% of New Zealand adults – more than four out of five of us – drinking beer, wine and spirits responsibly. This is an increase of 3 percentage points from last year which is 110,000 fewer kiwis drinking in a harmful way . 

“We are encouraged by this continuing cultural change, including a reduction in hazardous drinking, however we still have a way to go,” said Virginia.

About the New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council

The NZ Alcohol Beverages Council is a pan-industry group that comments publicly on matters relating to the beer, wine, spirits and beverage industry. It focuses on supporting responsible alcohol consumption and wants to see a fair and balanced debate on alcohol regulation in New Zealand.

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