The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Big occasions boost drink-led visits in NZ on-premise

The latest CGA by NIQ New Zealand Pulse+ Report shows that while general and food-led on-premise visits were consistent throughout the year, drink-led visits were less stable.

Yet the on-premise channel continues to play a fundamental role of in consumers’ lives.

Despite an overall solid performance, an average of 86% of consumers who visited the on-premise went out to eat monthly across 2023, compared to half of consumers going out for a drink monthly, according to the report.

Unsurprisingly, there was an overlap as occasions increased during the festive period versus recent months. It’s clear drink-led visits are peaking during public holidays and other key occasions on the annual calendar.

This iterates why public holidays and national events are key dates for suppliers, brands and operators to factor into on-premise strategies. Understanding how to activate appropriately around these supports success in the right places at the right times.

As consumers continue to feel the pinch month on month due to wider cost of living pressures, frequency of visitation fluctuated throughout 2023. So, what’s the antidote, given consumers continue to demonstrate a healthy appetite for going out?

CGA by NIQ says showcasing the on-premise as an affordable treat enabling consumers to escape their day-to-day struggles helps drive footfall. For this reason, positioning brands and venues in ways that resonate with the pain points of target audiences is key. For example, relevant deals and promotions or proof of quality are worthwhile trade-offs on price.

As 2023 progressed, beer varietals began to see the higher-than-average penetration that spirits and cocktails benefited from earlier in the year. Is beer well positioned to be the affordable alternative that consumers are looking for in the channel? What’s more, how can spirits suppliers counteract this shift away from spirits and prevent it from becoming permanent?

Shifting economic impacts and consumer preferences underline the importance for brands, suppliers, and operators to learn from 2023 for better-informed 2024 On Premise strategies that hit the sweet spot in a receptive albeit cautious marketplace.

“Its important to reflect on 2023 to have a clearer picture of what 2024 will hold for the on-premise,” says Tom Graham, Senior Manager Client Success ANZ.

“This includes identifying any obstacles facing brands, suppliers, and operators. Using the information and insights in the Report, key learnings from 2023 can be leveraged to maximise sales, profitability and visitation frequency with targeted products, marketing, food pairings and drinks promotions.”

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