The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The Shout NZ Leaders Forum series 2023 – James Philips, CGA by NielsenIQ

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.

James Philips

James Phillips – Client Solutions Director, ANZ, CGA by NielsenIQ

For consumers, confidence has returned in visiting the on-premise following COVID-19. Whilst cost of living concerns are impacting consumers around the world, CGA’s analysis suggests that consumers will continue to prioritise the on-premise over options such as holidays and home improvements.

Visits to pubs and bars are perceived as an affordable luxury that consumers turn to for a treat, even in times where they may be under financial strain.

Big events and occasions will be key for venues and operators, with consumers making up for lost time given the number of big events that were cancelled or reduced in scope and size since 2020.

There’s a real appetite for consumers to get out and celebrate bigger events such as sporting events, but also for smaller celebrations such as birthdays and other social occasions.

CGA by NielsenIQ is continuing to see innovation within the hard seltzers and RTD space, with brands launching on-tap or draft.

Hard seltzers have continued to see growth in consumer penetration, with more than double the number of consumers drinking them in spring compared to autumn, and the frequency in which they’re consumed increasing as well.

There’s also been higher demand for more experiential venues, with younger consumers in particular looking for more from their on-premise experiences. CGA’s OPUS data reveals growth in the popularity of immersive venues such as crazy golf, darts, and escape room-style venues.

Across New Zealand, more consumers are leaning towards pursuing healthier lifestyles, a trend which has been reflected globally.

Consumers are actively making drink purchasing decisions based on health factors, with no/low alcohol alternatives growing in popularity as consumers drink them more often in the on-premise, and new product development in this space providing consumers with more options to trial.

Around the world, staffing challenges continue to be one of the major issues facing the on-premise. The availability of talent and shortage of staff means operators are struggling to meet the increased demand, especially over the busy summer season.

Operationally, venues may have to think outside of the box to counteract this issue, with options such as digital ordering helping to mitigate this.

While consumer confidence has improved, and consumers have demonstrated that they want to continue to prioritise their on-premise visits, cost of living concerns may still impact some consumers.

Operators should look to adapt to some consumer segments’ decrease in spending power by highlighting value for money, and drawing consumers in with offers and discounts.

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