Dry January has captured the attention of many drinkers who have been trying to be healthier, but it also has brands scrambling to market their own alcohol alternatives. While many are choosing mocktails and non-alcoholic spirits, another alternative has piqued interest for many consumers. Over 6 in 10 Dry January participants say they are interested in trying THC beverages as an alternative to alcohol, 21 percentage points higher than drinkers. What’s more, these cannabis-infused drinks have captured the attention of more than just Dry January participants, marking an important point to understand more about what exactly appeals most to consumers and why.
Who’s most interested in THC beverages?
THC beverages, drinks that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, have become increasingly popular as more states legalize recreational marijuana. And much like traditional alcoholic beverage offerings, there are increasingly more options available for consumers to try like seltzers, alcohol free wines and even a “Peaches 'n Honies” drink from Snoop Dogg. These drinks are often marketed as a healthier, less caloric and “hangover free” alternative to alcohol and that marketing is resonating with key groups of drinkers.
Millennials and Dry January Participants Are Among Those Most Interested in THC Drinks
Here are three groups in particular who are most interested in THC drinks:
- Millennials: This generation may have more room for alcohol substitutions than their older counterparts given they are more likely to say they drink alcohol, but the intensity of their interest, especially compared with other generations, is notable. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) of millennials who drink alcohol said they would be “very interested” in trying a THC beverage as an alternative, 9 and 24 points higher than Gen Xers and baby boomers, respectively.
- Current Dry January participants: Those who are currently abstaining from alcohol may turn to THC beverages as a buzzy alternative. Not only do current Dry January participants show more interest than the average drinker, they’re twice as likely to say they’ve consumed a THC beverage.
- Non-alcoholic beverage buyers: The alcohol alternative space is a crowded market, but that competition doesn’t seem to be detracting from interest in cannabis drinks. Drinkers who said they plan on purchasing non-alcoholic beer, wine, cocktails or liquor in January were 24 points more likely than drinkers to express interest in trying THC beverages.
Interest in THC beverages is driven by desire for relaxation
Health is consistently the No. 1 motivator behind participating in Dry January, and while health does play a role in interest in choosing cannabis drinks over alcohol, relaxation is much more cited as a motivator.
Relaxation and Hangover Avoidance Fuel Interest in THC Drinks
Over half (55%) of those interested in sampling a cannabis drink say a “major reason” for their interest is feeling more relaxed. That doesn’t mean health isn’t important to respondents, but instead it falls somewhere in the middle of reasons surveyed.
Like Dry January, THC beverages look poised to stay. Brands that understand the groups most interested in these products now, and why, are most likely to be well positioned in the future as the market grows.