NZ alcohol consumption lowest in the past 15 years

In the annual Stats NZ survey year ending December 2022, the number of standard drinks consumed has fallen in the past year by one per cent to 1.96 per day in 2022 which is the lowest number of standard drinks per person in the past 15 years.

The volume of beer, wine and spirits available for consumption shows the total annual volume has declined by 0.3 percent to 498 million litres.  This follows a small rise of 0.9 per cent in 2021 and 0.8 percent in 2020, says NZABC executive director Virginia Nicholls.

In 2022, the volume of alcohol available per person aged 18 years and over was 11 percent below the latest series peak in 2010.

The spirits and wine trends observed in the past two years have continued, with the total annual volume of spirits increasing by 3.2% to 103 million litres and wine has dropped 5.9% to 101 million litres.  Overall the total volume of beer has increased by 0.5 percent to 294 million litres.

In the past 15 years the total volume of alcohol beverages available for consumption, beer decreased from 66 percent to 59%; wine increased from 19 percent to 20 percent and spirits increased from 14 percent to 21 percent.

In November 2022 the NZ annual Health Survey released the findings of its 2021/22 assessment of New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing.

The survey says that 81% of New Zealand adults are drinking beer, wine and spirits responsibly.

New Zealanders are also drinking more than 25% less now than we did in the late 1970s.  Fewer under-18s are drinking alcohol and those who do are drinking less hazardously.

Industry observers are seeing changing trends with New Zealanders sipping and savouring their beverage, and turning on to low and no-alcohol beverages.

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 1,250 New Zealanders in December 2022 found 56% (up from 49% in the preceding year) of respondents drinking low-alcohol beverages at least some of the time, and some prefer low alcohol beverages.


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