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The Impact of Dry January

From Dry January and Sober October to the rise of mindful drinking, abstaining from alcohol is the new cool. But there’s a catch. Most Americans don’t really drink in the first place. So, there’s nothing “new” about this trend.

  • 30% of American adults don’t drink.
  • Another 30% consume less than one drink per week.
  • Conversely, nearly 24M US adults consume about 10 drinks per day.

No, that’s not a typo. The top 10% of drinkers consume about 70 drinks each week. This group effectively props up the entire US booze business. Far from an isolated occurrence, this usage curve demonstrates the Pareto Principle, where the top 20% of buyers account for approximately 80% of sales.

New, new: The difference, then, is the number of no- or low-alcoholic upstarts catering to the health-conscious consumer. Instead of a definitive choice between drinking and not drinking, Athletic Brewing’s non-alcoholic beer, Seedlip’s spirit-free spirits, and category-creators like Kin Euphorics are disrupting the $250B US alcohol industry.

And January is proving to be the perfect dry run for the sober curious.

  • Social media mentions of ‘Dry January’ increased 1,083% between 2015 and 2019.
  • Year-to-date sales of non-alcoholic beer through January 18, 2020, were up 39% versus the same time period last year.
  • Athletic Brewing CEO Bill Shufelt told Forbes that January’s online sales were up 480% compared to last year.

While you’re here: Read the Fitt Insider report on The Rise of Mindful Drinking.

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