Dry January – With a Chance of Showers

Published Jan 31, 2023

James Wilkinson, Enterprise Account Director, CPG at Toluna

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Whether you’ve had a dry January, a damp January, or a flooded one, there is no doubt that the general trend towards a lifestyle of more moderation continues to grow in popularity. On the 16th of January 2023, we spoke to approximately 500 UK consumers who are cutting down their alcohol intake during January, to understand more about why they have chosen to do so, as well as their plans for the future. This is what they told us.

Reducing consumption for health and wealth

Overall 19% of UK Consumers were trying to cut out alcohol completely in January, whilst others are reducing their intake or choosing more low alcohol options. And this moderation looks to be here to stay, as 71% are planning to reduce the amount they consume in total across the year. Those of you chuckling at the back and wondering if they’ll achieve it may have a point, but even if reality doesn’t match intent, the trend towards living more moderated lives is real.

So why are these consumers moderating their alcohol intake? For most, it’s part of a plan to live a healthier lifestyle (47%), as well as a desire to save money (39%). With nearly 80% of respondents going out less or not at all in January, the cost-of-living crisis is clearly having an impact.

Alternatives to alcohol

Okay, so people are drinking less—at least in January—and maybe for good. What are they turning to in terms of alternatives? For over half (51%), the go-to is a hot drink. Juices, fizzy drinks, and water also score highly. When choosing a non-alcoholic alternative (chosen 23% of the time), non-alcoholic beer (48%), gin (38%) and ready-to-drink cocktails (37%) are the most popular choices.

Whilst No- and Low-alcohol drinks are popular alternatives, 35% still think they’re too expensive, and 28% feel they don’t taste like their alcoholic equivalent. And yet, when asked which alcohol categories they wish had more low- or no-alcohol options, a quarter of consumers said they would like to see more wine options, and similar proportions would like to see more alternatives for cider, beer, gin, and vodka.

Are you wondering what’s most important to people when they look for alternatives to alcohol, or if beer drinkers and gin drinkers (and other categories) want the same things?

Curious whether there’s a difference in intent between generations? And does anyone consume CBD drinks?

If you’d like a copy of the data, get in touch at James.Wilkinson@Toluna.com. We’ll give you a free link to the results with an analysis tool where you can crosstab and more to your heart’s content (we’ll even show you how to use it!).

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