Lion Breweries is expanding its product offering, after the completion of a deal to sell Vita Coco coconut water alongside its main product range.
Lion managing director Rory Glass said the move was aimed at providing options for every customer, as the market shifted towards an increasing demand for lower and non-alcoholic drinks.
"Like many companies, we're seeing that consumer trend towards health, wellbeing and moderation and to consumers increasingly looking for healthy alternative drink options," Glass said.
"And our research tells us that around 30 per cent of drinks consumed at adult social occasions are non-alcoholic and that number is growing," he said. "And we also know that consumers aren't particularly satisfied with current options available in the marketplace so for a little bit of time now we've been building a foothold in that non-alcoholic space."
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Lion's non-alcoholic range includes Hopt soda water and the Mac's range.
"For us it's a very small step out of our core category, so it's not a big leap, but it's something we expect to grow over time and it's come about because we want to provide our customers with a range of drinks for all social occasions so all those social events where the non-alcoholic drinks are a large part of those events and becoming larger, for us it's an opportunity to participate in that space," Glass said.
Vita Coco has been operating for more than 10 years, and is one of the biggest coconut water brands worldwide.
"In New Zealand, [coconut water] is in its infancy but internationally, the coconut category is up to around $1.7 billion in sales and has been growing on average about 150 per cent per year in markets like the States where it has significant scale," Glass said.
Vita Coco chief executive Michael Kirban said the deal with Lion was a boost to the brand, which already sold to markets including the US, Canada, Europe and Japan.
"Vita Coco's international growth continues to impress us," Kirban said. "In some regions we're seeing up to 300 per cent growth. We expect New Zealand to be a strong market for the brand and one that will help us become a truly global beverage brand."