It’s Time for Dry January: Why People Cut Back on Drinking Alcohol

Dry January is here. This month-long sobriety challenge continues to grow in popularity, especially as those participating report on social media and to others about the overall benefits they experience. As we noted during Sober October, or Ocsober, people find that a month-long hiatus from alcohol can positively affect physical well-being, enhance sleep and encourage the exploration of alcohol alternatives. According to the Washington Post, “people who participate in Dry January and other sobriety challenges frequently experience lasting benefits.” 

In the latest wave of our ongoing consumer behavior study, we looked at the current and anticipated habits of people regarding alcohol consumption. We found consumers do have intentions to limit alcohol consumption in the New Year, with some participation in Dry January. Among those who drink alcohol, 62% are planning to cut alcohol intake overall in 2024. For more about what might be coming up in 2024, read our “Consumer Beverage Trends in 2024” blog.

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What are some of the reasons for cutting back? Let’s hear directly from our study participants!

Health concerns are the biggest overall reason to limit alcohol intake (83%), with goals of being healthier overall (62%) or losing weight (35%). 
  • “I want to be skinnier and have better skin. Alcohol makes me gain weight and not feel my best self.” (Woman, age 21-34, planning to participate in Dry January)
  • “I want to live a more healthy lifestyle. This would include drinking less alcoholic beverages.” (Man, age 45-54)
  • “The reason I decided to limit my drinking is because I want to be healthy and alcohol is not as good for you as water.” (Woman, age 21-34)
  • “In this next year my plan is to equal the amount of all alcoholic beverages intake with non alcoholic drinks for health and mental health purposes.” (Woman, age 21-34)
Drinking is expensive, and 23% of our respondents who drink alcohol said they’d be cutting back in 2024 due to costs
  • “The initial reason for drinking less is the cost of alcohol. This money could be spent elsewhere. Next, because I don’t need it to have fun.” (Woman, age 45-54)
  • “Cost. With the state of the economy it has gotten considerably more difficult to splurge on alcoholic beverages.” (Man, age 21-34)
Some people plan on keeping alcohol consumption the same in the coming year, or cut back to just enjoy in particular circumstances.
  • “I would like to drink more with purpose [in 2024]. I want to drink less at home and instead enjoy drinking at a restaurant or dining experience catered to cocktails and fine dining.” (Woman, age 21-34)
  • “I only like to drink when I’m in a meeting with other people and on special occasions or specific occasions.”  (Woman, age 21-34)
  • “I only really drink for the occasion and not for the effects it gives me. I wouldn’t normally enjoy it unless I was in a social setting.” (Man, age 21-34)
These findings from our latest study are backed up from a variety of reports including from Wired, who shares that millions of people around the world will participate in Dry January. And there is a growing awareness of the positive impacts of a month-long break from alcohol, or even longer term decrease in consumption. 
As we navigate the evolving landscape of alcoholic beverage trends in 2024, it is important to understand the diverse motivations driving people’s decisions regarding alcohol intake. Learn more about some of the market research solutions to help guide product development and innovation in this space here: or reach out to us!