Suppliers from Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company, have revealed the increasing popularity of Dry January has boosted alcohol-free trends, with a reported 4.2 million people expected to have abstained from alcohol this month.
January continually presents publicans with a challenge as consumers embark on a detox regime following the indulgent festive season. Coupled with the ‘sugar tax’ imposed on soft drinks last year, leading names in the industry have started to introduce nutritious options and fresh flavours to their ranges to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Beacon has been working with its leading suppliers to help operators refresh their soft drinks menus in what could be the driest January yet.
Clare O’Brien, Purchasing Manager from Beacon commented: “Following the popularity of last year’s Dry January and the growth in healthy eating which was one of 2018’s biggest trends, we are unsurprised by the success of this year’s Dry January. To cater for the increased demand in alcohol alternatives, operators have broadened their soft drinks ranges to encourage consumers to explore healthier lifestyle choices and capitalise from those who are already leading them.”
Beacon’s supplier, Heineken UK highlighted that healthier New Year’s resolutions contributed to the increased number of drinkers abstaining from alcohol in January, with research from The Drinks Business stating the number of consumers saying they will forgo alcohol at the start of the year has risen 35% from 2018. Molson Coors indicated that non-alcoholic drink options appeal to consumers’ leading vegan, vegetarian and free from lifestyles as it caters to their desire to know the exact content of both their food and drink options. As the number of consumers leading these lifestyles continues to increase, and research suggesting that Dry January participants are still drinking less in August, Beacon’s supplier, Oranka Juice Solutions is encouraging operators to look beyond January when increasing their juice, smoothie and mocktail offerings.
Despite a survey recently revealing that nine out of 10 people who set out on Dry January have already fallen off the wagon half way through the month, insight from Beacon’s supplier, Molson Coors found that 28% of cocktail drinkers enjoy drinking mocktails when drinking out of home, according to CGA data. Operators can spice up mocktail menus with new and exciting flavour combinations this month, as consumers look for aesthetically pleasing alcohol alternatives. Introducing new flavours such as rosehip, goji berry and cucumber, some of the key flavours to look out for according to insight from Oranka Juice Solutions, can refresh palates and encourage customers to embrace alcohol-free trends.
Operators can further enhance these options by focusing on high quality, innovative glassware, as well as simple, fresh garnishes and great quality ingredients to bring theatre to the service and offer a premium experience, something that is becoming important to consumers who stay sober while enjoying an evening out.
Oranka also predicts that the super shot revolution will gain pace throughout 2019, as consumers look for healthy on the go options. Super shots are soft drink alternatives that have already started making their mark on the high street, quickly becoming a popular lunch-time beverage. Operators are introducing these smaller portion sizes of flavoured juices with added health benefits and selling at a premium price, helping to enhance and capitalise their soft drink range by being ahead of the trends.