Drinks innovations in Dry January encourage On Premise visitors to sip not skip

With almost half of active consumers likely to participate in Dry January, CGA by NIQ’s latest US Consumer Impact Report explores the growing trend of month-long abstinence from alcohol amongst consumers in 2024.
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The market leading Report explores the implications in the On Premise, and how brands, suppliers and operators should be adding Dry January to their New Year’s Resolutions list. 73% are planning to abstain from alcohol at home, while 54% plan to abstain at bars and/or restaurants. 


The rising trend of Dry January participation among consumers sees 44% of active consumers (+10pp versus 21–34-year-olds) very likely or likely to participate. Reasons for participating in Dry January include being generally healthier (45%), saving money (39%), taking up the challenge and demonstrating self-discipline (31%), and decreasing alcohol intake (24%). 


Looking back to 2023, 63% of consumers didn’t participate in Dry January, while 29% completed it, and 8% didn’t complete it, like other New Year’s Resolutions that get abandoned long before January is over. 


Notably, only 14% intend not to visit the On Premise during Dry January. Coupled with a continuing appetite for going out, expected high participation rates in Dry January 2024 reveal a significant market opportunity for brands, suppliers and operators. This is of continued importance beyond the month of January, as consumers are increasingly inclined to prioritize health, savings, and self-discipline, with a notable shift in overall alcohol consumption habits.  


For those abstaining at bars and restaurants, 62% will opt for soft drinks, 30% sparkling water, and 26% hot drinks. Less than 10% specified mocktails and alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits. But more than 10% of consumers who are likely to take part in Dry January said they’re motivated by a better range of non-alcoholic options available than in previous years. This represents a key window of opportunity for creative strategizing and product development, in order to entice more Dry January participants from the sofa to the bar. 


CGA’s Global Bartender Report reveals that 15% of bartenders include no/low in their top trending drinks at the moment. This popularity can explain why it isn’t one side of the bar that are eager to learn about the category – over half of consumers (58%) want to get closer to no/low, making this the no.1 drinks category consumers would like to learn more about. 


Despite this popularity amongst consumers, no/low category knowledge is still relatively low (46%) amongst bartenders when compared with the likes of spirits (87%) and cocktails (93%). To bridge this knowledge gap, drink suppliers can play a crucial role in supporting operators and their bartenders during slow periods. By actively engaging with bartenders and enhancing their knowledge of their brand and the no/low category, suppliers can ensure that these non-alcoholic and low-alcohol brands remain top of mind, especially when making influential decisions in crafting seasonal drinks menus. Elevating awareness and promotion of no/low options can further help to support the sustained growth of this flourishing category. 


Matthew Crompton, Regional Director – Americas said: In order to embrace and leverage Dry January, drinks brands, suppliers and operators must creatively cater to a growing base of consumers committed to alcohol abstinence. Crafting enticing non-alcoholic options and unique experiences for this demographic ensures continued visitation and greater brand equity, optimizing sales and profitability, even as customers prioritize health-conscious choices while frequenting venues.”  


CGA’s On Premise Impact Reports help suppliers and manufacturers across food and beverage keep a pulse on the industry by featuring current insights derived from a variety of our best-in-class data tools. 


Click here to download more information or contact Matthew Crompton at Matthew.Crompton@nielseniq.com to learn more about subscription access and wider capabilities. 

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