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Distillers’ Spirits Up

Media release 21 February, 05

Distillers’ Spirits Up

Data issued by the Government Statistician today show spirits are gaining a larger share of the alcohol drinks market.

For the year ended December 2004, the total volume of spirits and liqueurs available for consumption increased by 9.4% to 48million litres (up from 43million litres).

Chief executive of the Distilled Spirits Association*, Thomas Chin puts spirits’ rise in popularity down to their immense versatility, broad appeal and ability to cater to every budget and occasion.

“This upward trend has been driven by New Zealanders wanting a more premium quality drink. As Kiwis tastes evolve through travel and new experiences, their preferences change and develop, moving them away from the more traditional and plain beverages to more sophisticated choices.”

However, Mr Chin notes that while these statistics are clearly pleasing for distillers and demonstrate steady growth for the spirits industry, it’s important to consider the data in the context of the wider drinks industry.

“Although this represents an important part of the alcohol beverage market, the overall market share of spirits and liqueurs is still miniscule when compared with beer and wine volumes in this country.”

Of the total volume of alcohol available for consumption in New Zealand to the year ended December 2004, spirits made up just 11% of the market, while beer accounted for 70% of share with a massive 312million litres - and wine with 19% share at 83million litres.


* The Distilled Spirits Association is the national trade organisation representing New Zealand’s leading producers and marketers of spirits and liqueurs. Our members include: Anchor Ethanol Limited, Bacardi Martini Asia Pacific Ltd, Brown Forman Beverages Worldwide, Diageo (New Zealand) Ltd, Federal*Geo, Fosters International (New Zealand) Ltd, Heaven Hill Distilleries NZ Ltd, Lion Nathan Wines and Spirits Ltd, Maxxium NZ Ltd, Pernod Ricard New Zealand Ltd, The Rum Company (New Zealand) Ltd, and Vintage Wines and Spirits Ltd.

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