The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The Shout NZ Leaders Forum series 2023 – Andy Gaunt, Fever-Tree

After a tough few years for New Zealand as a whole, we asked executives in the Kiwi alcoholic beverage industry share their insights and predictions for the year ahead. This series will include several columns in the coming weeks.

Andy Gaunt – Managing Director ANZ, Fever-Tree

As we come into a year which on one hand, is slightly more stable, but on the other is a bit more daunting, I think we will see people become even more discerning when it comes to what they drink.

For some that will mean a continued interest in the dominant trend of low or no-alcohol options, but for many it will be enjoying a quality, great-tasting drink.

If people are going to spend money, it stands to reason they want to spend it on something that gives them an exceptional experience.

Using high-end, quality mixers to make at home mixology a really simple process with only a few steps, is a trend we’re predicting will continue this year. We’re calling it the rise of the ‘home premise’.

In on-premise locations, we’re seeing a return to simpler, classic cocktails instead of complicated drinks, as well as longer, lighter serves.

Flavoured tonics and sodas are a simple way to build flavour in the glass instead of using 10-ingredients. It also gives bartenders another tool to experiment with flavour in a way that’s both subtle and consistent.

In grocery, our sales of flavoured tonic water have grown at a faster rate year on year than classic tonic water which shows Kiwis are continuing to seek out new and different flavour options with their mixers.

There is also a significant opportunity for mixer brands to collaborate with liquor retailers to focus on selling serves.

This will help make outlets like bottle stores a one stop shop for customers where they can buy their favourite spirit along with a mixer to match. It will also help create a better shopping experience and likely lead to customers being more likely to come back to repeat the process.

In a year where cost of living pressures are top of mind, there is even more reason to showcase great value, enjoyable and easy shopping experiences, and enable consumers to elevate their drinks in an easy, quick way.

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