Try January

Try January

Try January

Many Brits abandoned Dry January when lockdown was announced just 4 days into it, but 32% of our mystery guests kept going! It seems that sober curiosity is being driven by millennials and Gen Z, and it’s not surprising with this generation becoming more conscious about all lifestyle choices in general, such as veganism and sustainable fashion.

A report from supermarket Waitrose shows sales of their no and low alcohol wines, beers, and spirits saw a 102% uplift in February 2020 compared to 2019. Although the pandemic may have paused the growth of this trend, X people still took part in Dry January across the UK, using the closure of pubs as a kick start to exploring a healthier lifestyle.

According to a study by Kam Media, beer is the most popular low/no alcoholic beverage of choice for 70% of people. 63% of 35-54 year olds however, said they don’t think they will enjoy the taste of low/no booze, so it’s paramount that brands focus on taste – for 60% of respondents, taste actually came out as the most important factor overall, over both quality and price.

Premium soft drinks

Ahead of the pandemic, research from CGA revealed a rise of 27.8% value growth in premium soft drinks, and 47% of our mystery guests said they would be likely to purchase a premium non-alcoholic beverage such as a premium juice or carbonated drink, at a higher cost over your standard coca cola or orange juice.

67% of guests would likely choose a low sugar or sugar-free option when purchasing a drink in a pub and 80% believed that pubs promoted these low sugar alternatives poorly. As pubs begin to open again this year, it will be interesting to see whether this trend has changed.

Sober bars acting as a ‘second living room’

Pre-pandemic, booze-free bars were popping up just about everywhere, and our very own clients Brewdog launched their first one in London early last year.

As the BBC put it, a pub without alcohol is something of an oxymoron. But in cities like New York and London, where apartment dwellers with little space use bars as a ‘second living room’, the concept of an alcohol-free hangout holds some serious appeal.

For the sceptics among you, who might question how booze-free bars are any different from a café or coffee house, these venues are built specifically for night time – they only open in the evenings, the lights are low and there’s not a single person working on their MacBook. They cater to non-drinkers who still want to go out and socialise but not be surrounded by people drinking heavily.

Lorelei Bandrovschi, 32, organises alcohol-free pop-up events. She explained exactly why the concept works so well for so many people: “Bars are a space of relaxation, and we’ve been made to believe that alcohol has to be a part of that,” she told the BBC. “It’s really liberating to create space for yourself and your life where a rowdy party vibe doesn’t mean a hangover and blurry memories.”

So, what will be your first drink order at your local this year? Booze or low/no?

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