Developing a taste for no alcohol
Image: Cottonbro / Pexels
It’s Dry January and while many of us drink alcohol, whether that’s beer, wine, or spirits, and have occasion to use alcoholic beverages, the non-alcoholic beverage trend is especially prevalent among millennials and Gen Zers. The latter are drinking more than 20% less than other generations did at their age.
New research from Alcohol Change UK highlights the changing nature of alcohol consumption with 8.5 million planning to go alcohol-free this month while a quarter of us want to cut down in general in 2024.
Almost half (44%) of those planning to go dry this month are more likely to go to the pub if booze-free options are available, according to research commissioned by Alcohol Change UK. The survey was carried out online late last year by Opinium of 2,000 UK adults, of whom 28% said they don’t drink alcohol. It should also be pointed out that the figures have been weighted to be nationally representative of UK adults (aged 18+).
This equates to around 3.7 million people nationally, with little difference between men (43%) and women (46%). Among 18-34-year-olds, 50% are more likely to visit a pub or bar that serves a good selection of alcohol-free alternatives.
The shift away from alcohol stems from a number of reasons such as a heightened awareness of the risks that come with drinking, and a different generation prioritising wellness, both mental and physical, more than generations past. We must also acknowledge that there are more options available to this generation than prior generations and most would like to engage with them.
The findings from Alcohol Change UK is part of a campaign to cut back on their alcohol consumption, and to encourage more people to choose no and low alcohol drinks.
There are some demographic differences within the findings such as who drinks what, frequency and favourite tipple.
As someone who only drinks alcohol moderately now, but who really enjoys pubs and socialising, I can appreciate establishments offering alcohol-free drinks. There’s definitely a market for it and plenty of pubs and retailers have caught on to this new customer base.
If that translates to a slightly shorter line at our pub, we’re all for it.
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
Keep in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @foodanddrinktec or LinkedIn: Food & Drink Technology magazine.