The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New research shows Kiwis are embracing responsible drinking

A recent study shows Kiwis are embracing global trends that support responsible drinking behaviours and attitudes.

“The industry research found 40% of Kiwis now drink low-alcohol beverages,” says NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) Executive Director, Bridget MacDonald.

“Twenty-two per cent of people who said they drink low alcohol beverages said the reason was that they preferred a low-alcohol drink ­– and, it’s women and people in the 18-40 or 61+ year age groups who are more likely to prefer low alcohol drinks,” she says.

“Health and wellbeing was the main reason for 18% of respondents to choose low alcohol drinks, 17% said it was because they were driving, and 12% to be social.”

MacDonald says Kiwis are making positive changes in their attitudes and behaviours toward alcohol.

“We are becoming more aware of ‘what’ we are drinking and the choices available to us, such as no- and low-alcohol options.

“The findings are also in line with global trends that influence ‘how’ we are drinking, for example, the move to premiumisation, with 62% saying they had a premium drink in the past year.

“Premiumisation is about choosing a quality drink that may cost a little more, such as a craft beer, a fine wine, cocktail or a premium spirit or liqueur, and then taking a ‘sip and savour’ approach to enjoy the flavours and the experience of the drink in a slow and relaxed way,” says MacDonald.

A discerning palate was the main reason for choosing a more expensive or premium drink, with 42% saying it was for taste. Forty per cent said it was for a special occasion, and 16% for a quality drink. While 47% said they consumed a premium drink at the same speed as a regular drink, it was pleasing to see 42% said they drank a premium drink slower – only 3% said they drank it faster.

“Kiwis are making better decisions around alcohol based on their personal circumstances and lifestyle. As a result, hazardous drinking is declining, fewer younger people are drinking, and our consumption is decreasing and below the OECD average.”

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