As we move firmly into 2020 many of us are probably still lamenting the holiday excess, foggy head and pounds gained. For some that will mean that alcohol is off limits as one in ten of us attempt to navigate the choppy waters of a ‘Dry January’ and avoid ‘obstacles’ such as pubs, colleagues and after-work drinks for the rest of the month.
Having launched in the UK back in 2013, the month-long sobriety challenge has since spread quickly worldwide as people take the plunge and try and kick-start the year with a health kick.
Of course, the idea isn’t popular everywhere. In France ‘Défi de janvier’ has faced opposition in its inaugural year and the city council of Épernay, the country’s capital of champagne, voted against the campaign.
Should they be worried? Not if their British counterparts are anything to go by? Last year, although around one third of consumers claimed to be ‘open’ to Dry January, according to retail analysts, alcohol saw double-digit growth during the month. And while some of that could have been down to New Year’s Eve sales, around half us in the UK still bought booze in January, with campaigns such as #Ginuary boosting sales by almost a quarter.
This year, some in the drinks trade are switching approaches as they look to counter the advances of ‘sober-curious’ consumers to use the drink-free month as a marketing tactic.
Firms such as Heineken and Molson Coors are hoping to entice punters with new non-alcoholic beers, while others such as BrewDog are going even further and launching pop-up bars for the month.
The Scottish firm, which has attempted to redefine British beer-drinking culture with its campaigns, opens its first on Monday (Jan 6th) in London’s Old Street and will ‘feature a line-up solely devoted to drinks without alcohol, offering 15 taps of draft alcohol-free craft beer’.