It’s one thing to say you’ll participate in Dry January all the way back in December – and another thing entirely to actually go the whole month without drinking any alcoholic beverages. The annual ritual (not to be confused with the official Dry January program, which has more comprehensive protocols) maintained intent levels similar to those before the pandemic heading into 2023. But who stuck with the month-long resolution?

According to CivicScience’s recent data, just 16% of all U.S. adults 21 and older who drink finished the job and avoided alcohol throughout the month of January. This is slightly below the percentage of 21+ Americans who claimed they were ‘very likely’ to participate in Dry January (24%) and quite a bit under the overall intent numbers (41%), so you can imagine many broke from the exercise early.

Gen Z adults 21 and older who drink were the most likely to have participated in Dry January last month, with 29% claiming they avoided alcohol. This lines up with CivicScience’s advanced data from December, which, similar to the overall intent, still featured a significant gap between the intenders (55% of adults aged 21-24) and the participants.

The main lingering question following Dry January tends to be one of longevity – will participants view the month as a trial period of a new lifestyle, or just an attempt to get the year started on a healthier note? Might they join the 19% of drinking-age adults who claimed to be “sober-curious” in a CivicScience poll last October? 

CivicScience recently polled adults in response to recent research which suggested that even small amounts of alcohol can be harmful and found that nearly 1-in-3 adults who drink might change their habits. Among U.S. adults who participated in Dry January this year, 33% are ‘very likely’ to change their alcohol consumption in light of this news (with 57% of Dry January participants at least ‘somewhat likely’) – so there could be significant enough overlap between these camps to reflect a real change in consumption habits.

CivicScience found Dry January interest to be high among non-alcoholic beer intenders in a previous poll, and there’s a similarly high overlap between U.S. adults 21+ who might change their drinking habits and non-alcoholic beer drinkers. More than half of drinking-age adults at least ‘somewhat likely’ to change their consumption habits in light of the new research on alcohol’s effects have tried non-alcoholic beer. By far the highest share of non-alcoholic beer intenders (15%) are among those ‘very likely’ to change their habits.

CivicScience will continue to track the latest alcohol and beverage trends – and monitor if this Dry January moved the needle for the non-alcoholic drink market more than in years past. Want to know how your consumers are responding to the latest trends in the food and drink space? Let’s chat.