Dry January - Times are changing
I managed two months without drinking last year. Maybe I’m just not partying like I used to, but what made this period that much easier was the vast array of alcohol-free options now available. Nuisance Drinks have not (yet) made it into all the establishments I was frequenting, but if it wasn’t Nuisance then I’d be found kicking back with a quality alcohol-free beer. And it’s not just beer, Seedlip spearheaded the way for alcohol-free spirits with their launch back in 2015 and since then, we’ve seen over 300 alcohol-free spirits hitting the shelves (some far better than others!) And now, at Nuisance, we’re in the game of making soft drinks sexy; by offering genuinely unique and exciting flavours with intriguing depth and complexity.
Gone are the days of buzzing on sugar-filled coke (that’s coca-cola) at 10pm whilst your gaggle of friends chat away and knock back their wine. Or spending the evening sipping away on your tap water (sure, your bank balance may thank you, but my god how boring is that?). Times have changed and it’s easier now more than ever to reach for a great tasting alcohol-free alternative, enjoy the experience and not suffer with considerable FOMO (fear of missing out). I love a decent beer and now when I am at the pub, I honestly never felt like I am missing out - the only thing I would like more of, is alcohol-free beers on tap. However, for all the great alcohol-free beer options now surfacing, the soft drink selection still remains underwhelming and crowded with the usual suspects. There is a lack of variety. Bars and restaurants should try to add to their experience by offering genuinely exciting, unique and better-for-you alternatives.
According to a recent report by KAM & Lucky Saint, Dry January participation was expected to rise by 25% this year and 1 in 3 UK pub visits are now alcohol-free. This is all the more achievable due to the growing range of genuinely interesting and tasty alternatives. This isn’t to say that the consumer is going tea-total and that the death of alcohol will soon be upon us. But with depression and anxiety having risen by 25% amongst the global population since the pandemic, consciousness towards reducing one’s alcohol-consumption is evidently on the rise. I myself will occasionally alternate; 1 x alcoholic beverage, 1 x alcohol-free beverage and so on - it helps with the hangover (and the hanxiety for that matter) and yet I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on any of the fun.
Not only is the consumer actively looking to reduce their alcohol-consumption over the coming years, but general attitudes towards not drinking seem to be changing too. Only once last year did I feel peer pressure to drink (yes, I gave in, and yes, he’s a doctor!). But apart from that, I genuinely believe that people are now so accepting of the link between alcohol and mental health that they are becoming far more accepting of such choices.
Last week, Lucky Saint, a business that makes great quality alcohol-free beer, announced that they had secured a £10m funding round - the largest fundraising round achieved by any alcohol-free beer in Europe. Additionally, in December, Club Soda, a business committed to helping people drink mindfully, launched London’s very first alcohol-free off-license. It’s great to see such businesses thrive in the alcohol-free sector and pave the way for the rest of us; proving how much the consumer needs businesses like ours to provide genuinely different alternatives that don’t detract from the drinking experience.
According to IBIS World, over the next five years, the UK soft drinks industry is forecast to increase at a compound annual rate of 2.3% to reach £6.1 billion. With the growing wave low to no alternatives among us and a consumer increasingly aware of their alcohol consumption, at Nuisance we are extremely excited to be adding to these options with our entirely unique offering of premium, botanical soft drinks.
*Use code ‘DRYJAN23’ for 20% off at checkout (valid until midnight on Jan 15th)*