Alcohol Consumption Declines, as Consumers Look to Healthier Alternatives

Dry January is a time for consumers to take a step back and focus on limiting (if not completely cutting out) alcohol consumption to help with physical and mental health. Overall, consumers are drinking less alcohol and looking for healthy alternatives. With an increase of alcohol related diseases including cancer, heart disease, liver, and pancreatic issues, it’s no wonder Dry January is becoming so popular. More energy, better sleep, weight loss and overall better skin appearance are just a few of the positive “side effects” to abstaining from alcohol for just one month. When we consume alcohol, our bodies produce acetaldehyde which is a chemical produced from our bodies metabolization process. This chemical is toxic and can have damaging effects (such as the above-mentioned diseases).

Of course, moderation is key. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines provide their recommendations for alcohol consumption however maybe a bit confusing. For women, the recommended daily intake is one drink per day and for men, two drinks per day. However, this is meant throughout the week so consuming more than two to three drinks would be an excessive intake of alcohol.

Decreasing alcohol consumption among the younger generation is an opportunity for growth in the non-alcohol sector. 1 in 3 are drinking less per week than in the past. Consumers are looking for good-tasting drinks with herbal and botanical ingredients. They want less sugar, added vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and plant nutrients.

Many consumers are drinking less to save money and are looking for alternative drinks that are healthy but less expensive as well. The nonalcoholic market in the United States is underdeveloped compared to Europe. It is reported that households buying nonalcohol alternatives spend $160 million more per year than households that buy alcohol. Large global alcohol companies are taking note of this trend, and now providing non-alcoholic options. Nonalcoholic sales have seen a growth of 20.6% between 2021 – 2022 with an estimated $395 million sales valuation.