The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

What can we expect in the Kiwi liquor industry in 2022?

Making predictions about the industry these last few years has come with both literal and figurative hygiene warnings, so to get that out of the way early, yes, COVID will likely continue to rear its head in 2022.

Matt Wilson

And, as with the last two years, it feels impossible to predict. New variants bring fresh waves of uncertainty, supply chains continue to be disrupted around the world, and in the midst of it all we’re all trying to keep safe. While the glass might sometimes seem half empty, if we look closely we might see that it’s also half full and more importantly, it’s cold and delicious!

Reconnection and innovative hospitality experiences

Kiwis experienced a great deal of separation and uncertainty in 2020 and 2021, with prolonged lockdowns and ongoing travel restrictions.

That means, now that it is safer to do so, it is even more important than ever to help bring people back together for social connection.

Businesses like ours are at the centre of these good times, and hospitality related businesses have a really important role to play this year in bringing people back together.

Celebrating the little things has become more important, and consumers are embracing more indulgent experiences.

As people seek a bit of normalcy, they’re craving excellent hospitality experiences. Whilst learnings from COVID might mean shorter menus, simpler fit-outs and more seasonal ingredients, I predict that the industry will continue to find interesting and impressive ways to give people a reason to go out.


The pandemic has only heightened people’s focus on wellness – a trend we have seen booming over the last few years – and, as such, more people are looking for balance in their consumption.

Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol, low-sugar and low-carb offerings are becoming increasingly popular.

Sales of low-alcohol beer have shot up a spectacular 1116% in the past five years, as the days of limited choice have gone.

I predict low/no-alcohol, low-sugar and low-carb beverages will continue to rise and the next generation of wellness-linked products will start to enter the market.


We’re also seeing consumers lean towards more premium products, with an increase in sales of premium and craft brands.

This, coupled with the lower consumption of beer overall, suggests that Kiwis are generally drinking less but focusing more on quality and premium brands.

The combination of increases in the low- and no-alcohol category, the move to premium and craft, people drinking on fewer occasions and the rise of low-carb options, reflects positive changes in our society to a more moderate approach to the consumption of beer.

The year of the beer

Beer is ideally placed at the centre of these trends, being lower in alcohol than other categories, able to produce excellent products even without alcohol, and having a vast array of different tastes, styles and brands.

So, COVID be damned, I predict this is the year of beer with a strong recovery of the nation’s favourite drink!

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