Britons boosting dry January

Sales of no and low alcohol alternatives rise during lockdown year. Rebecca Smithers in the Guardian. December 2020.

A record number of Britons are planning to forego booze during so-called dry January, after re-evaluating their home drinking habits during lockdown and as sales of “no and low” alcohol alternatives soar.

The charity Alcohol Change UK said its polling shows more than 6.5 million adults intend to participate in dry January – up from 3.9 million last year. That is the equivalent of one in five of people who drink alcohol.

With drinking now largely home-based, the Portman Group – the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK – said ongoing Covid restrictions and curfews had increased consumers’ thirst for hangover-free options from the supermarket and corner shop.

Its research reveals that almost two-thirds of UK adults (62.5%) have tried beers, wines or spirits in the “nolo” drinks category. In addition, a quarter (25%) of drinkers consider themselves to be semi-regular consumers of low and no alcohol, with the highest consumption in Scotland (27%). Separate data from Nielsen Scantrack suggests that low and no alcohol sales rose by 30% year-on-year.

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