Marlborough-based Moa Beer issued a press release claiming it was the first New Zealand craft beer to gain a duty free listing at Auckland international with concessionaire JR/Duty Free.
“It’s the first time a craft beer has been offered in duty free in New Zealand and, we’re told, the world,” claimed Moa general manager Gareth Hughes.
“We’re excited to be blazing a trail and hope more of our craft colleagues will follow.”
However, rival brewer, the Greymouth-based Monteith’s, immediately disputed Moa’s claim, insisting its Black Beer, Golden Lager and Original Ale had been listed at another Kiwi duty free operator – Regency Duty Free – back in 2007.
Monteith’s marketing manager, Jennie Macindoe, said: “Our decision to begin selling through duty free stores was extremely well received at the time due to awareness of our West Coast brand.
“We quickly grew our sales over the following years but the reality is, however, that beer is not a key driver in duty free stores, given the competitive retail pricing and the fact that people tend to purchase items such as spirits, perfumes or electronics when travelling abroad because of the significant duty savings offered.”
Meanwhile JR/Duty Free is confident Moa Beer will be a hit with travellers.
“Our customers love products that represent a little piece of New Zealand for gifting to friends and family, or as souvenirs,” said the company’s general manager, Kate Gorman.
“They also enjoy products that feel unique and exclusive, something they can’t necessarily buy everywhere on the high street. As a premium craft beer that’s undeniably Kiwi, Moa ticks all these boxes.”