As 2022 nears its end a just released survey shows that the trend towards lower alcohol drinks and sipping and savouring higher strength drinks appears to be bedding in.

The annual survey 1 by the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council aims to understand New Zealanders views on how alcohol is perceived across a number of issues. One set of questions asked what respondents were drinking and how they drank overall.

“The trend of going “no and lo” and “sipping and savouring” your drinks appears to be cementing itself into the way we drink. This means we are actively choosing to slow down when we drink and, for others, it’s about choosing a lower alcohol option,” says NZABC Deputy Chair, Robert Brewer.

The survey shows that 56% tried a low alcohol drink in 2022 – up 9% on last year and 69% tried a premium drink – up 13% from 2021.

“Neither of these stats are surprising when you consider that, when choosing low alcohol drinks, the most common reason to do so was health (40%), driving (28%) and to avoid intoxication (27%).

“And premium drinks were chosen (37% chose a premium spirit or liqueur, 35% premium wine and 32% a craft beer) for that special occasion (45%) or because of the taste (28%),” says Robert.

And while 34% of premium beer, wine and spirit drinkers consume it at the same speed as other drinks, 45% say they consume it more slowly.

“Drinking higher strength options more slowly and/or choosing lower alcohol options are great trends and mirror the overall decline in drinking over the last couple of decades – we’re drinking approximately 25% less per capita than we did in the early 80’s and we’re drinking less harmfully as well,” says Robert.

“However there is still a lot of work to be done to better understand and then accelerate the changes we are beginning to see in our drinking culture,” he says.
And Robert says that if you’re drinking to celebrate the New Year then going no and lo and sipping and savouring your drink is a good plan to carry into 2023.