Breaking the Booze Habit: A Deep Dive into Dry January’s Impact

Published Feb 23, 2024

James Wilkinson, Enterprise Account Director, CPG at Toluna

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How did UK consumers moderate their alcohol intake in 2024, and what trends are emerging in the No- and Low-Alcohol category?

Whether you had a dry January, a damp January, or a flooded one, there is no doubt that the general trend towards living a more moderated lifestyle continues to grow in popularity. In the first week of February, we spoke to 500 UK consumers who cut down their alcohol intake during January, to understand why they chose to do so and their plans for future consumption. This is what they told us.

Of the 500 consumers we spoke to, 19% cut out alcohol completely in January, whilst others were reducing their intake or choosing more no- and low-alcohol options. And this moderation looks to be here to stay, as 73% are planning to reduce the amount they consume in total across the year; another 14% are trying to give it up completely! Even if reality doesn’t match intent, the trend towards moderation is real.

So why did these consumers moderate their alcohol intake in January? For most, it’s part of a plan to live a healthier lifestyle (51%), as well as a desire to save money (45%). Those who gave up alcohol completely during January were far more likely to be Gen Y or Z, rather than Gen X or Boomers.

Okay, so people are drinking less, at least in January, and maybe longer term. What are they having instead? For nearly half (45%), the go-to alternatives were hot drinks, carbonated drinks, or juices. For non-alcoholic alternatives (chosen 25% of the time), non-alcoholic beer (64%) and ready-to-drink cocktails (33%) were the most popular choices.

For the three-quarters of moderators who don’t drink no- or low-alcohol alternatives, 64% have an issue with taste, price, or both. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, mocktails and ready-to-drink cocktails score the highest when consumers are asked about quality (50%+ positive).

Are you wondering what is most important to people when they look for alternatives to alcohol? What about whether beer drinkers and gin drinkers (and other categories) want the same things? Curious whether there’s a difference in behaviour when looking at household income? And from which brands do consumers want to see more low- and no-alcohol options?

Get in touch with me at to receive a copy of the data. We’ll give you a free link to an analysis tool where you can crosstab and more to your heart’s content—and we’ll even show you how to use it!

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