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NZ poised to be superpower of craft beer

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd

Media Release

19 August 2014

NZ poised to be superpower of craft beer

The thirst for New Zealand craft beer is expected to triple over the next decade but there are concerns that brewers might not be ready to capitalise on the demand.

“New Zealand is well positioned to be a superpower of small brewers,” said John Bennett, ANZ General Manager Central Region for Commercial & Agri.

“Craft beer is where wine was 20 years ago. People with money to spend are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes, and they are looking beyond the big beer brands.

“Asia’s fast-growing middle classes are just starting to develop a taste for craft beer. The potential for exporters is enormous, up to 300 per cent in the next decade, but New Zealand brewers and hop growers will need to significantly expand production if they’re to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Craft beer is the fastest growing segment of New Zealand’s brewing industry, currently at about 25 per cent a year. In the US – one of New Zealand’s biggest beer export markets - demand for craft beer has grown 10 per cent annually while overall demand is shrinking 0.3 per cent annually.

Demand is also on the rise in Europe, but Asian markets, such as China, hold the most exciting prospects for New Zealand brewers, Mr Bennett said.

“These consumers are increasingly looking for premium products that are authentic, high-quality and were made by a craftsman, not a factory production line. The challenge for craft brewers is to grow production quickly and without compromising quality or uniqueness.

“If brewers are serious about taking advantage of this growth, then funding for brewery plant and equipment, working capital commitments and managing foreign currency requirements must be as much a part of their business success story as the right bottle, bitterness and body.”

As the leading bank to New Zealand’s craft brewing sector, ANZ will tomorrow release a market overview. The research will be presented at Beervana 2014 in Wellington.

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