Record numbers take part in dry January

6 March, 2020

The food and drink industry may have jumped on the ‘Veganuary’ opportunity, but the popularity of plant-based options was not just limited to food with continued growth of Dry January…

For the last seven years, Dry January, spearheaded by the charity, Alcohol Change, has encouraged many thousands of people across the UK to give up alcohol for the first month of the year. As with Veganuary, 2020 saw record numbers taking part this year, with a direct result being that bars, restaurants and other operators needed to provide alcohol-free beverage alternatives.

What our clients say…

Veganuary was a major focus for all of our food and drink clients, including Sheffield based bar, BoozeHound, who have a great following for vegan beers year round. We asked Robbie MacDonald, co-founder and partner, a little more about their vegan offering, and in particularly, Veganuary.

Here’s what Robbie said: “Towards the end of last year, we decided to commit two permanent draught beer lines that would be suitable for our vegan customers, but also appeal to everyone that visits our bar. In January, these were given pride of place on our bridge fount, the impact of which was huge. Both beers, produced by our fantastic supplier, Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell, were in our top five beers sold for the month!”

This year, BoozeHound also hosted its first vegan beer and food pairing event with fellow Cutlery Works vendor Ma Ba, which specialises in Indian street food. Robbie told us, “It proved hugely successful, selling out both sittings on a cold Thursday evening!”

The popular craft beer company and pub chain, BrewDog, supported Dry January through introducing their own ‘Drink All You Can Jan’ campaign in their bars. This promotion offered unlimited free refills of alcohol-free beer throughout the month. The Scottish based brewery also launched the world’s first alcohol-free beer bar in London, to coincide with the launch of Dry January.

Final word

With 12% of UK adult shoppers claiming to be teetotal all year round, and recent research revealing that general alcohol consumption is falling, particularly amongst Millennials who are being more mindful about the amount they drink, it’s likely that the industry could continue to engage with demand for alcohol-free options throughout the rest of the year. However, although, in general, demand for low or no-alcohol alternatives are booming, sales of reduced alcohol wine fell in 2019. This may mean that, despite Dry January, the market is not quite as safe as it may seem.

Established in 1988 and headquartered in Somerset, Regency Purchasing Group provides comprehensive procurement solutions for the leisure, education, hospitality and healthcare industries and boasts over 3,000 members. Regency offers a bespoke service tailored to the needs of its customers, providing some of the most competitive pricing on the market through its strong relationships with key suppliers. Regency prides itself on providing keen industry insight, unrivalled service and technology solutions, and is in a unique position as an owner operator of its own leisure, restaurant and hotel businesses.

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