GlobalData: New Zealand beverage industry shifts toward healthier options, as 40% of Gen Z abstain from alcohol; brands like Sidekick Soda and Dilmah are introducing natural, low-calorie drinks to cater to health-conscious consumers

Sample article from our Food & Beverage

January 23, 2024 (press release) –

The New Zealand beverage industry is being reshaped, with more consumers abstaining from alcoholic drinks in favor of healthy alternatives. This trend is particularly high among Gen-Z consumers, 40% of whom state that they no longer consume alcohol/never have consumed alcohol*, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

Tim Hill, Key Account Director at GlobalData Singapore, comments: “Young consumers increasingly demonstrate an inclination for healthy and functional beverages globally. New Zealand is no stranger to this trend, with 49% of consumers concurring that the impact on health & wellbeing always/often has the greatest influence on their choice of food/drinks*.

“For instance, Sidekick Soda, a newly launched natural soft drink brand in New Zealand, aims to capitalize on this evolving trend as consumers become more mindful of what they consume, proactively reading labels and making conscious lifestyle choices to maintain wellbeing.”

Parthasaradhi Reddy, Consumer Lead Analyst at GlobalData, adds: “Concern for wellbeing remains heightened, even after the concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic have eased, with consumers becoming more aware of both physical and mental health. They are mindful of what to consume, with increased attentiveness towards ingredients. This is evident with 32% of New Zealanders agreeing that high-quality ingredients and multi-functional benefits influence their choice of non-alcoholic drinks*.”

Hill adds: “Globally, health-conscious consumers across all age groups and generations demonstrate concern about the impact of diet on health and appearance, motivating them to make better choices when it comes to the drinks they consume. Manufacturers are trying to launch new low-calorie product lines to win over consumers with health goals. Moreover, they are launching these products in flavors that convey a healthy message. For instance, the new soda range from Sidekick comprises three flavors, claimed to be made with real fruit, pure New Zealand honey, and organic New Zealand apple cider vinegar.

“Similarly, Dilmah launched a new low-sugar RTD tea soda in unique flavors of Brewed Ginger & Lemon, Yuzu & Elderflower, and Tropical Hops, targeted at health-conscious consumers unwilling to compromise with sensory experiences.”

Reddy concludes, “The growing desire for beverages made with natural ingredients for their perceived health benefits will continue to push more beverage manufacturers to embrace the no-alcohol, low-calorie beverage trend targeted at consumers looking for healthy drinks. This aligns with consumers’ changing preferences, with 30% of New Zealand consumers claiming “natural concept” to be essential when making purchase decisions*.

“Given the time constraints of modern-day consumers, they are looking to source their daily recommended dose of essentials through beverages, and companies that target this requirement will appeal to both health-conscious and time-constrained consumers.”

*GlobalData 2023 Q4 Consumer Survey – New Zealand, with 503 respondents, published in December 2023

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