January presents publicans with a challenge as consumers embark on a detox regime following the indulgent festive season. Indeed, this year a reported 4.2 million people tried to abstain from alcohol in January; what’s more there is a sugar levy on soft drinks.
However, the increasing popularity of “Dry January” has boosted alcohol-free trends, with brands forced to innovate to appeal to health-conscious consumers.
“Operators have broadened their soft drinks ranges to encourage consumers to explore healthier lifestyle choices and capitalise from those who are already leading them,” said Clare O’Brien, purchasing manager at Beacon.
Research from The Drinks Business also showed the number of consumers saying they will forgo alcohol at the start of the year has risen 35% compared to last year. Nine out of 10 of those who set out on Dry January fall off the wagon halfway through the month, but they are still drinking less come August. Some 28% of cocktail drinkers, for example, enjoy drinking “mocktails” when drinking out of home, according to CGA data.
Elsewhere in the beverage category, super shots are expected to become increasingly popular as consumers look for healthy on the go options. These smaller portion sizes of flavoured juices with added health benefits command a premium price.