When It Comes to Low/No Alcohol Beverages, Dry January Brings a Flood of Perspective

As we raise our glasses and toast to the year ahead, we get a chance to reevaluate what takes priority in our lives. For many, this includes putting health and wellness at the forefront. To others, this looks like trying something new or making a more conscious effort to spend time with loved ones. Starting the year alcohol-free, better known as “Dry January” is a way to accomplish many of these common goals and more. And the best part, it can happen all at once. 

People decide to limit alcohol consumption for a number of reasons, a prominent one being health concerns. During Dry January, alcohol alternatives take away some of alcohol’s negative aspects while temporarily taking its place. Abstaining from alcohol can potentially reduce headaches, improve quality of sleep and the appearance of skin, according to The New York Times. These benefits collectively contribute to holistic health goals in an attainable way. 

Practices in limiting alcohol consumption such as ‘sober curiousity’ or “damp drinking” are becoming more widespread on social media for both health and personal reasons. Regarding a ‘sober curious’ perspective, Forbes shares that it is more than a trend, rather, a fundamental shift in consumption that emphasizes mindfulness. These online conversations offer a valuable opportunity to reevaluate one’s relationship with alcohol which clearly resonates with a growing number of consumers. According to Food Dive, 27% of Gen-Z consumers claim they never drink. As a result of this curiosity and desire, Dry January has found company in other months of the year including Sober October and No Alcohol November. 

Today, limiting alcohol consumption no longer means that options are limited as well. Brands of all sizes are tuning in to changing preferences by expanding their product offering, including more booze-free options. This increase in variety has made it easier than ever for a growing number of alcohol conscious consumers to remain indulgent and for key players to earn major profit in a reimagined way. As of 2022, the IWSR reported that the low-no alcohol category reached $11 billion in sales and is continuing to grow. 

To address the social aspect of alcohol consumption with those looking for alternatives this month and beyond, bars across the country are adding flavorful, fanciful mocktails as a mainstay on their menus. This ensures that alcohol-conscious consumers are not left feeling excluded and introduces an array of possibilities to push the modern mocktail to new places. Sensient’s SensaCraft offers an array of capabilities to make these innovations possible including: Alcohol-Type flavors, Alcohol Burn Enhancer, Sweet Mouthfeel, Foam Heading Agent, and Cloud. These technologies pair harmoniously to create a low/no alcohol creation that captures the essence of beloved alcohol products. 

It is important to recognize that alcohol is more than just a beverage, it is an experience that excites the palette and the spirit. Additionally, NPR acknowledges alcohol’s foothold on culture with its prominence in plenty of songs and signature cocktails being shown on the silver screen, like James Bond’s Vesper Martini. In the New Year, we are given the chance to make some personal choices that have the potential to set us up for success. With a growing selection of booze-free beverages to choose from, engaging in Dry January or its counterparts has become a less limiting choice, rather, one that empowers us to work towards the next goal with this year’s fresh slate. 

Want to take a shot at creating the next mocktail sensation? Let’s be taste buds!