In the third UK lockdown, it can be easy to see how drinking has become an at-home activity, with socialising taking place through video chat software and social media, yet alcohol retailers are permitted to remain open. Some reports, however, suggest that the Dry January organisers (Alcohol Change) have experienced a record high number of active participants this year, at a staggering 6.5 million people (a smidgeon under 10% of the UK's entire population).
So what may have prompted this?
Firstly, a large proportion of younger populations regard themselves as 'social drinkers', who only drink in order to enjoy time spent with friends. With pubs and bars closed, this activity is no longer possible. Thus, while these social drinkers are not drinking anyway, many have expressed the desire to attempt the entirety of January without alcohol.
Secondly, those most affected by the lockdown are the Millennial generation, who are statistically less likely to drink alcohol at all. That's according to Global Data, who report that one in four Millennials have reduced their alcohol intake since March 2020. This generation is more likely to make healthier choices than those before, yet they also make up the second largest population group of the UK, at 17 million people. Their lifestyle alterations are having a significant impact on alcohol consumption.
Finally, many older adults are reporting greater motivations to improving their health; with gyms and sports clubs closed for the foreseeable future, cutting back the alcohol has become the quickest way to manage their weight.
A combination of these factors, coupled with the ever-improving quality and availability of non-alcoholic substitutes has provided the perfect scenario in which Dry January has proved so successful. Cheers!