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More consumers are ringing in the new year by taking a break from drinking.
Over 1 in 5 adults ages 21 and over say they are participating in Dry January this year, the highest recorded level since Morning Consult began tracking in 2021. Similar to years past, younger generations are most likely to partake in the month-long break from alcohol.
Dry January Isn’t Going Anywhere
The uptick in participation comes just over a decade after Dry January was first introduced by Alcohol Change UK in 2013. The nonprofit touts many benefits to being alcohol free for a month, including better sleep, a mental health boost and saving money.
More Dry January participants are taking a damp approach
What has changed? Participants are planning on taking a more moderate approach than last year. There’s an 18 percentage point drop in those who say they will not drink alcohol at all in January (52%).
Fewer Will Abstain Entirely From Drinking This Dry January
Instead of abstaining completely from alcohol during the month of January, more participants are taking a damp approach. Nearly 3 in 10 say they will only drink alcohol for a few days in January and 19% say they will drink alcohol for more than a few days, but less than they typically do, a 10- and 8-point increase, respectively, from 2023.
Health benefits continue to be most motivational to Dry January participants
Even though less are abstaining from alcohol entirely this January, their no. 1 reason for participating is consistent: health. Trying to be healthier was a “major reason” 63% of participants say they decided to take part in Dry January in 2024.
Participants Have Many Reasons for Partaking in Dry January
Other top motivations for Dry January participants are saving money and cutting down on drinking overall. Nearly half of participants (47%) said that these potential benefits were a major reason they decided to participate in Dry January. The increased importance of saving money and moderating drinking in general is important for brands to take note. Despite cooling inflation, consumers are still clearly focused on tightening their belts. And, moderation is likely to remain on the minds of Dry January participants well after the month has ended.