The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Daily standard drinks falls to lowest in 15 years

The annual Stats NZ survey year ending December 2022 has revealed that the number of standard drinks (a standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol) has fallen in the past year by 1% to 1.96 per day in 2022 – 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 percent 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% below the latest series peak in 2010.

The spirits and wine trends we have seen 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 tells us that 81% of New Zealand adults – four out of five of us – 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.

We 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 of us prefer low alcohol beverages.

“Although we’re pleased to note the progress in some areas there is still work to be done. And this work needs to be targeted at the most impacted parts of New Zealand rather than having population-wide controls put on us,” says Nicholls.

Did you know?

There are six ways you can catch up with The Shout NZ?

Our print magazine – new issue out soon! Subscribe here.
Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
Our digital magazines – the latest issues are online now.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!