Kiwis have sweet tooth for sugary soft drinks

Despite constant lobbying against sugary soft drinks, new figures show Kiwis are drinking them at a concerning rate.

Figures from Euromonitor International show New Zealanders each drank 115 litres of "soft drinks" last year. 

Soft drinks includes fizzy carbonated drinks, concentrates like cordial, juice, sports and energy drinks, bottled waters and ready-to-drink tea and coffee.

That's a total of 518.30 million litres, an increase from 515 million litres in 2013.

When it comes to consumption of fizzy soft drinks, New Zealand is 11th-highest in the world while for sports drinks it is 9th.

New Zealanders drank just under 73 litres of carbonated drinks each in 2014 - a fraction lower than Australia where the per-capita consumption sat just under 75 litres.

In New Zealand that totals to about 221 cans of soft drinks each. 

That figure is down slightly from 2013 but Gerhard Sundborn, a spokesman for lobby group Fizz, said the growing rate at which New Zealanders drank sugary soft drinks was still concerning, particularly with the goal of zero per cent consumption of sugary drinks by 2025. 

Fizz advocates stopping the availability of sugary drinks in New Zealand. 

The group had campaigned for a sugar tax on drinks but the Government was not open to that.

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"Our end game is to bring sugary fizzy drink consumption down to zero in 2025, similar to the end game for tobacco consumption," he said.

The idea was to encourage people to drink water and unflavoured milk instead, or zero-sugar drinks as an alternative.

Bottled water and juice consumption sat at 12.8 litres and 19.9 litres per capita respectively in 2014.

Sundborn said juice was probably not as popular as soft drink because of the higher price.

The big up-and-coming quencher of the year looks to be ready-to-drink tea which experienced a 10.2 per cent growth last year. 

This category includes all packaged products based on brewed tea or tea extract.

 - Stuff

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