The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The Shout NZ Leaders Forum series 2023 – Rachel Carter, Foodstuffs

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.

Rachel Carter – Head of Liquor, Beverages, Deli, Chilled and Bakery, Foodstuffs North Island

As well-established lifestyle trends tick along, pandemic-induced shopping habits fade, and we all grapple with the rising cost of living and inflation, here are some of the key trends we expect to continue in the supermarket beer and wine aisles through 2023.

Smaller pack sizes and value are a big deal in the beer
When customers began doing bigger, less frequent shops and entertaining at home during the pandemic, larger pack sizes became a popular choice.

But as our customers increasingly prioritise value, adjust their budgets and reduce discretionary spend, the pendulum has swung quickly from 24s towards 12s.

Striking the right mix between product, pack size and price to meet customers’ value expectations will continue to be one of the big tasks of 2023.

It’s a yes to no alcohol
There was a notable jump in the range and quality, as well as sales, of non-alcoholic beer and wine in 2022.

Non-alcoholic wine sales, although off a very small base compared to the total category, doubled and innovative craft brewers drove a new, full-flavoured wave of interest in zero-alcohol options at the chiller shelf, up nearly 40%.

In fact, two of the winning non-alcoholic beers in the recent New World Beer & Cider Awards finished the campaign among the top five sellers.

Low carb is on a high
‘Better for you’ options are in high demand across the whole supermarket, and are important in the beer aisle too.

Lifestyle brews – including low- and no-alcohol, low-carb, gluten-free, seltzers and alcoholic kombuchas now make up around 15% of sales.

Low-carb beers are the leader here though, experiencing the most pronounced growth in the segment, as brewers continue to innovate and customers discover they no longer have compromise on flavour.

Sparkling is still fizzing
Wine’s often synonymous with tradition, and the styles and varieties most exciting wine shoppers are quite well known by now.

As the volume in wine shifts between varieties and styles, sparkling wine, especially Prosecco, and Rosé are still drawing the most attention.

And with new trend-setting trifectas like Prosecco Rosé bringing it all together and offering customers fun, new options to explore, these trends show no signs of stopping soon.

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