Sobering thought

Sobering thought

Cola tonic

January is a busy month for many reasons. In a world dominated by social media, awareness days in January are plentiful.

Dry January, a month where people commit to going alcohol-free, is setting the stage to be record-breaking in 2021.

Almost double the number of people (6.5 million up from 3.9 million in 2020) are anticipated to participate this month, according to data from the British non-profit Alcohol Change UK. The study finds 20% of British adults, or 12.4% of the entire UK population, are planning on participating in the month-long sobriety challenge.

Since the initiative originally attracted 4,000 people in 2013, it has mushroomed in popularity to the point where Alcohol Change, who coined the term Dry January in 2013, has found that one in four adults that are drinkers are interested in reducing their consumption in 2021.

Alcohol Change UK’s findings are backed up by research from Drinkaware, another alcohol education charity. It found that 66% of Britons between the ages of 45 and 64 are willing to try low strength alcoholic drinks, up 15% from two years ago; 51% are willing to try alcohol-free alternatives, a number that has risen from 48% last year.

Still, data being data, and people being people, nearly 1-in-4 of those who attempted Dry January 2021 have already given in to temptation.

A snap poll carried in early January by KAM Media found that only five days into the new year and around 2.7 million people have already given up and consumed alcohol.

30% of UK adults intended to take part in ‘Dry January’ according to research it conducted in December. By 1 January that figure had dropped further with 31% of them saying they didn’t start. KAM’s most recent poll, conducted on 5 January, shows that only 75% of those who actually attempted ‘Dry January’ are still continuing.

Generation Z and young Millennials are the most keen to take part in ‘Dry January’ with 48% of those under the age of 34 years attempting to take part.

75% of those taking part in Dry January expected non-alcoholic versions of beer and wine to help them get through the month. According to KAM’s low and no research, consumer awareness of the availability of low and no alcohol variants has ballooned in the last year.

Last year only two thirds of consumers had even heard of non-alcoholic beer, now that figure is 3-in-4. Awareness of non-alcoholic spirits and wine has also grown significantly.

Low and no alcohol alternatives are now an important part of the beverage mix. As a growing number of people choose to drink ‘less and better’, the universe of low- and no-alcohol beverages is rapidly expanding and improving. The category is also keeping up with consumer preferences with an increasing focus by producers, retailers and drinkers.

Many alcohol producers’ response to this change in drinking patterns is by launching their own low- and no-alcohol alternatives to expand the appeal of their portfolios.

The category’s buzz is growing, with a general consensus that low- and no-alcohol wine is a trend for the future.

There’s a lot of long term potential, and excitement about this sector. No and low alternatives are an opportunity for growth particularly at at time when health and wellness is in the spotlight in addition to an appetite for responsible drinking and people being open minded to try new things.

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