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Dry January was more popular than ever.  This is good news for the alcohol industry

According to surveys by CGA, a food and beverage research firm, 35% of legal-aged U.S. adults have skipped alcohol all month – a trend that’s gaining traction as drinkers look to reset their body in the new year. That’s up from the previous high of 21% that ended Dry January in 2019.

Attendees attributed their commitment to a growing selection of non-alcoholic offerings and mocktails that made it “easier to give up alcohol without making social sacrifices,” the CGA said Wednesday. These options were among the most popular choices with around 30% of consumers drinking non-alcoholic beer (compared to 5% in 2019) and 23% choosing non-alcoholic cocktails (compared to 7% in 2019).

Non-alcoholic wines and spirits have also seen a surge in popularity. “Curiosity beyond a traditional mocktail indicates that there are more high-quality options available with compelling flavor profiles that may stand on their own,” CGA said.

The selection of new options is improving bar and restaurant bottom lines, adding $295 million in industry-wide revenue by attracting customers who would otherwise be hesitant to exit.

And customers like what they drink. About 75% of those polled by CGA said they would continue to drink beer, spirits and mocktails, and 64% planned to stick to non-alcoholic wine.

“This is positive news for emerging brands in the non-alcoholic ‘better for you’ space and underscores the opportunity for suppliers to introduce non-alcoholic brand extensions that keep consumers engaged with their families. brands,” CGA said.

Big brands have taken notice. A host of non-alcoholic options have appeared on shelves in recent years in response to the growing trend, from brands such as Budweiser, Heineken and Guinness owner Diageo.

“Low and no-alcohol variations have also been a key sub-category in recent years, tied to health trends. People want to make healthier choices, but they don’t want to miss out on their favorite treats,” wrote Elliott Maddison, beverage analyst at GlobalData, in a note Wednesday. “Heineken’s 0.0 brand, which grew more than 30%, is reaping the rewards.”

Although the sector is growing, it remains small. NielsenIQ recently said retail sales of non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits jumped 28%, to around $350 million, in 2021, making it a “relatively small” slice of the industry. of $88 billion.

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