Why Gen-Z might be Skipping Dry January this Year
We’re a week deep into Dry January. How is it going for you? A survey by Alcohol Change UK showed that participants over 25 overwhelmingly nailed the challenge. On the other hand, nearly half of Gen-Z participants had already binned Dry January after one week in 2021, with a majority not lasting the month. Now, research shows that just participating in Dry January at all leads to reduced alcohol consumption over the rest of the year, so throwing in the towel isn’t such a big deal, but why is Gen-Z’s experience of Dry January so different from the rest of us? Are these young whippersnappers lacking in determination and grit, or is there something else going on?
Gen-Z's Drinking Patterns
First of all, Gen’s drinking patterns vary wildly when compared to all other demographics, with a third of those surveyed by Alcohol Change UK saying their drinking patterns vary month to month. The most stable in their drinking are boomers, presumably set in their ways. Secondly, a third of Gen-Z surveyed said they didn’t drink at all in 2023—around ten percent more than any other demographic. Those Gen-Zers who do drink also drink less than their older, boozier counterparts. A 2018 report found that they were drinking 20% less than millennials, who’s drinking was lower on average than previous generations.
Mental Health Awareness
Gen-Z also seem rather more rational about alcohol and their mental health. They’re much less likely to use a pint or glass of wine to cope with their daily stresses and anxieties. In fact, they may even be pioneers in this respect, with 21% of those surveyed by Kantar Global Monitor saying they were more likely to opt for mood-enhancing food and beverage ingredients than the ancient technology that is alcohol.
Gen-Z's Approach to Alcohol
So, perhaps Gen-Z just don’t take Dry January very seriously because they don’t feel like they need to. Perhaps, like GABAlabs CSO and Sentia’s creator Professor Nutt, Gen-Z think Dry January “is a bit of a gimmick” and their approach to alcohol consumption is a little more mature than their years would suggest. Gen-Z are certainly more conscious of their health and wellness than previous generations, so maybe they treat their consumption of alcohol in the same way as say, their fitness or education.
Lessons from Gen-Z
Whilst the rest of us may never get our heads around TikTok or Snapchat, Gen-Z may have something to teach us when it comes to conscious consumption, mindful drinking, and functional foods and beverages.
It sounds like the kids are all right.