The Dry January Hangover
March 9, 2023
Bryan Miller – Senior Director of Insights Innovation
In recent years an increasing number of Americans have been participating in Dry January—the practice of reducing or stopping consumption of alcohol during the month of January. Taking breaks from alcohol is nothing new. It’s as common as people going on diets. What’s noteworthy about Dry January is that it’s a collective event with after-effects that are likely impacting the alcoholic beverage market in unexpected ways.
Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
The Dry January Hangover research study.
Before we jump into those lingering effects, let’s start with who’s participating. By and large, Dry January is a younger person’s game. Our recent research found that 37% of Gen Z drinkers and 31% of Millennial drinkers participated, compared to just 24% of Gen X and 18% of Baby Boomer drinkers.
When it comes to why people participated, we found that health reasons were the top motivator across all generational segments. The challenge itself was a motivator for a lot of Gen Z and Millennial drinkers. Younger Americans are also known to be health-conscious and connection-seeking and challenges like this provide a healthy goal to work towards in a supportive social context. Finally, we see that saving money is helping a decent portion take the Dry January plunge, with Millennials being the most likely to cite this as a motivator.
Despite the month being free of booze, there appears to be a hangover to Dry January that could impact both the alcoholic beverage and non-alcoholic beverage markets. The Dry January hangover is marked by two lingering effects.
Lingering Effect #1: Decreased alcohol consumption beyond January
That’s right. More than three quarters of each generation that participated said they planned to continue drinking less beyond January. Just how long the “dry” momentum will carry people is unclear. But there’s one reason to think it could be longer than what we’ve previously seen. That reason is tied to the second lingering effect.
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Senior Director of Insights Innovation
As Director of Content, Bryan leads the content team that produces all of Collage Group’s syndicated research and oversees the AdRate and BrandRate ratings products. Bryan holds a Master of Arts from Georgia State University’s Philosophy and Brains & Behavior Program, a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of North Dakota, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in the Philosophy of Science, the Philosophy of Psychology and Bioethics. Outside of work, Bryan is a passionate film buff and lover of great food.