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Alcohol Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 February 2011
Commentary

Total alcoholic beverage volumes rise slightly

The total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption rose 2.9 million litres (0.6 percent) to 474 million litres. This follows a 3.1 percent decrease in the year ended December 2009.

The increase was due to a rise in volumes of both wine, up 7.3 million litres (7.7 percent), and spirits and spirit-based drinks, up 2.4 million litres (3.5 percent). These rises were offset by a decline in the volume of beer available, down 6.8 million litres (2.2 percent).

Total pure alcohol volumes rise 5.5 percent 

Pure alcohol available for consumption measures the alcohol content of the various alcoholic beverages.

The total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption rose 5.5 percent to 33 million litres in 2010, an increase of 1.8 million litres since 2009. This was a rise of 3.7 percent to 9.6 litres per person aged 15 years and over.

The volume of pure alcohol available:

  • from spirits (more than 23 percent alcohol content) increased 880,000 litres (20 percent) to 5.3 million litres
  • from wine increased 808,000 litres (7.7 percent) to 11 million litres
  • from spirit-based drinks (not more than 23 percent alcohol content) increased 266,000 litres (7.0 percent) to 4.0 million litres
  • from beer decreased 198,000 litres (1.5 percent) to 13 million litres. 
     

 Graph, Total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption, by beverage type, 2003–10.

Graph, Volume of pure alcohol available for consumption, per person aged 15 years and over, 1995–2010.

Beer volumes down

The total volume of beer available for consumption in 2010 fell 6.8 million litres (2.2 percent) to 299 million litres.

Although beer remains the most popular type of alcoholic beverage in New Zealand, its proportion of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available for consumption fell to 63 percent in 2010, down from 65 percent in 2009.

The volume of beer with an alcohol content of:

  • less than 2.50 percent decreased 64,000 litres (2.1 percent) to 3.0 million litres
  • 2.50 to 4.35 percent decreased 16 million litres (8.5 percent) to 176 million litres
  • 4.36 to 5.00 percent increased 7.9 million litres (7.6 percent) to 112 million litres
  • greater than 5.00 percent increased 1.8 million litres (26 percent) to 8.8 million litres.

 Graph, Volume of beer available for consumption, by beer strength, 1999–2010.

Wine volumes increase 7.7 percent

The total volume of wine available for consumption in 2010 was 103 million litres, up 7.3 million litres (7.7 percent) compared with 2009.

  • Table wine (up to 14 percent alcohol by volume) increased 7.3 million litres (7.7 percent) to 102 million litres and contributed 99 percent of the total wine volume.
  • Fortified wine (greater than 14 percent alcohol by volume) increased 37,000 litres (5.5 percent) to 706,000 litres.

Wine contributed 22 percent of the total volume of alcoholic beverage available in 2010, up from 20 percent in 2009. 
 

 Graph, Volume of wine available for consumption, by wine type, 1999–2010.

Spirits and spirit-based drinks volumes rise

The total volume of spirits and spirit-based drinks increased 2.4 million litres (3.5 percent) to 72 million litres during 2010. The increase was due to:

  • spirits (containing more than 23 percent alcohol) increasing 2.1 million litres (20 percent) to 13 million litres
  • spirit-based drinks (containing 23 percent alcohol or less) increasing 351,000 litres (0.6 percent) to 59 million litres. 

 Graph, Volume of spirit-based drinks and spirits available for consumption, 1999–2010.

For technical information contact:
Dinah Mountier or Scott Davis
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Alcohol Available for Consumption: Year ended December 2011 will be released in February 2012.

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