No pressure, mate: New Kiwi research around drinking


If you’re tired of hearing, “come on, mate”, when passing up the opportunity to drink, you might be in luck. Encouraging new research has suggested that this type of peer pressure is becoming a thing of the past, with four out of five Kiwis now adopting a more flexible or ‘part-time’ approach to drinking and embracing low and alcohol- free alternatives.  

This research was commissioned by Speights, New Zealand’s largest beer brand, to celebrate the launch of the Speights Summit Zero, their first nonalcoholic beer.  

According to Speight’s research, 77% of Kiwi blokes want to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcohol drinks when socialising with friends. 

While 30% of drinkers still feel pressured to consume alcohol in certain social situations, an overwhelming 91% of New Zealand men reported that they wouldn’t mind if their friends didn’t drink alcohol on a night out, suggesting that the social pressures and norms around our drinking habits are evolving for the better. 

Furthermore, the study also showed that 65% of Kiwis now feel entirely comfortable not drinking on a night out, even if others are consuming alcohol, suggesting that sober socialising is becoming more ‘acceptable’ and less intimidating. 

Additional findings from the research have shown: 

  • 80% of Kiwis say that they would like to alternate between drinking alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks when meeting friends 
  • Over half of Kiwis say that their approach to drinking has become more flexible over the past three terms. 
  • 84% of younger respondents, aged 18-25, will often alternate between alcoholic and alcohol-free beverages on a big night out, compared to 76% of older persons aged 45-60. 
  • Social occasions where Kiwis choose this flexible approach range from nights in the pub to weddings, date nights, romantic meals out and celebrations such as a stop sign and engagement. 


With a part-time approach to drinking gaining popularity in New Zealand and more Kiwis embracing the balance between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, the shift in attitudes is encouraging for those seeking a more sober lifestyle or moderation in their drinking. This positive development could lead to a more balanced and inclusive social drinking culture for all Kiwis.


  • Speight’s Zero is <0.05% ABV
  • Consumer research source: 3Gem on behalf of Lion NZ, August 2021, sample size 1,000 male/female New Zealanders aged 18 – 65