More consumers try Dry January, but most eschew nonalcoholic options: survey


Dive Brief:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 consumers plan to participate in Dry January this year, according to a new survey by Morning Consult. Millennials are driving participation, with 27% planning to abstain from alcohol for at least some of the month, up from 16% in 2021.
  • While 52% of consumers said they would not drink alcoholic beverages at all during the entire month, roughly half plan to drink at least for a few days. And most participants will be drinking beverages that are always alcohol free. Only about 3 in 10 said they intend to purchase nonalcoholic beer, wine and cocktails.
  • A slate of new nonalcoholic beverage offerings are vying to tempt consumers with new flavors and functionalities, including from AB InBev, Stella Rosa and musician Katy Perry.

Dive Insight:

Many Dry January participants are not yet ready to commit to a fully alcohol-free lifestyle for the month. And based on their motivations for eschewing adult beverages, it’s easy to see why.

More than 9 in 10 are participating in Dry January to be healthier, according to the Morning Consult survey. Seventy percent are simply trying to reduce how much they drink, while 62% are looking for a reset. Avoiding alcohol for at least a few days achieves these goals for many consumers. This may also be the reason behind Dry January’s growing popularity, according to an analysis by Morning Consult analyst Emily Molquin.

Dry January participants are more likely than consumers overall to say they plan to buy nonalcoholic options this month, Morning Consult found. For example, only 12% of all drinkers expect to buy alcohol-free beer in January, compared to 33% of Dry January participants. But most are still choosing moderation over substitution.

That’s not for a lack of choices. In the past month, a series of alcohol-free options have debuted with the goal of addressing consumers’ desire for healthier drinks. In December, craft beer giant Sierra Nevada introduced Hop Splash, a 0.0% alcohol sparkling water infused with Citra and Amarillo hops and available in peach, mango and grapefruit varieties. This past week, Riboli Family Wines’ Stella Rosa brand introduced a nonalcoholic line of semi-sweet wines said to have 30% fewer calories than traditional options.

Corona recently launched Sunbrew 0.0%, said to be the first alcohol-free beer to contain 30% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D per 330-milliliter serving in Canada, where it is making its debut. AB InBev, which owns the rights to Corona everywhere but the U.S., plans to next launch Sunbrew in the U.K., followed by more countries in Europe, South America and Asia.

And last week, Katy Perry introduced De Soi, a line of alcohol-free apertifs developed with premium botanic beverage maker Amass. It includes three varieties — Golden Hour, Champignon Dreams and Purple Lune — that feature botanicals such as blackcurrant, birch and yuzu along with adaptogens like ashwagandha, maca and reishi mushroom. The ingredients can help relax and revitalize, a press release noted, without alcohol.

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