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NZ Consumers Not Changing Liquor Habits

Deanie Sultana, Marketing Communications
The Nielsen Company

In tough economic times, 47 percent of New Zealand consumers claim not to be changing their liquor purchasing habits

Auckland, October 7, 2008 –In the wake of rising petrol prices and interest rate rises, are consumers’alcohol purchasing habits being affected, which form of licensed premises are feeling the pinch and, are consumers going out more or less often than they did a year ago? Nielsen’s latest liquor analysis reveals the answers.

New Zealanders and Australians had very similar responses in relation to their alcohol spend, with over one in five stating they had been significantly influenced by the pressures of rising petrol prices and interest rates. Surprisingly though, when most consumers should be spending less due to the current state of the economy, a large portion of both New Zealanders and Australians claimed to be not at all influenced, with 47 percent and 44 percent respectively.

“Although there is considerable pressure on a household’s disposable income, it appears liquor stores sales have some insulation as New Zealanders continue a long standing trend of drinking a little less but a little better”, said Michael Walton, Executive Director of Nielsen’s specialist Liquor Services Group. “This latest consumer finding reveals that while some are finding some pain in their hip pocket, most are holding onto some affordable luxuries. Recent sales analysis by Nielsen also shows that consumers continue to trade up categories, rather than shift to cheaper brands.

When asked if respondents were going out less or more often in tough economic times, the response was similar across the board, with 45-55 percent of all age groups stating less often. The type of licensed venues visited by New Zealanders and Australians were also similar with cafes and restaurants the most popular choice.

Australians are five percent more likely to fine dine, 11 percent more likely to visit a BYO restaurant and sports club, 21 percent more likely to visit a Hotel and 24 percent more likely to visit a RSL/RSA then New Zealanders. New Zealanders however are five percent more likely to visit a nightclub and 11 percent more likely to visit a Bar then Australians. Surprisingly both countries also had 18-24 olds with the highest portion of fine dining.

“In tougher times New Zealanders are looking to cut back on going out, most particularly the nightclub and bar scene. Casual dining occasions, such as BYO restaurants and RSA’s seem far less impacted,” said Walton.

When it comes to ‘cutting back’ and methods of saving, the most common, with 36 percent, chosen by respondents was to buy less expensive products, followed by shop around for a better deal and purchase less frequently, with 23 percent and 18 percent respectively.


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