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4 in 10 Gen Zers Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption Due to Concern Over Emotional Impact

young people in kitchen relaxing and chatting together

Google Trends Data reveals that interest in ‘Dry January’ in the UK has reached an all-time high, surpassing 2023’s figures by a staggering 335%. 

In light of this, I spoke to the expert analysts at Mintel who have been researching the drinking behaviours and trends among the UK’s Gen Z, read on to find out some fascinating key insights.

  • A significant number of Gen Z are shifting their focus away from drinking alcohol and opting instead for sober socialising. 
  • Brits aged 20-24 are less inclined to prioritise spending on alcoholic drinks for the home than consumers aged over 75. 
  • Around a third of people aged 18-24 do not drink alcohol at all, but those who do tend to drink primarily as a treat, to relax, or to mark a special occasion.
  • Gen Z stands out from older generations in how little alcohol is used as a refreshment or to elevate meals.
  • 40% of Gen Zers limited their alcohol consumption in 2023, compared to 50% of those over 65 who did not. 

Why are Gen Zers cutting down on alcohol?

  • Almost two-thirds express concern about the emotional impact of alcohol, while a similar number would like to learn more about drinking mindfully. 
  • Around a quarter reported choosing low- and no-alcohol drinks as they have lower calorie content or due to added functional and nutritional benefits. 
  • Almost a third noted that they choose low- and no-alcohol drinks because they are cheaper than the alcoholic versions.  

What are Gen Zers choosing instead?

  • Under half of Gen Zers reported drinking low- and no-alcohol beverages.
  • Gen Zers reported a lower carbonated soft drink intake at bars and pubs than Millennials. 
  • Upgraded fruit juice with sophisticated flavours is a popular alternative among Gen Zers.
  • Gen Zers drink energy drinks on a night out more than twice as much as older groups. 

Mintel anticipates that the trend away from drinking alcohol among young people will continue to grow, but may not expand into older generations – who appear to be more consistent in their alcohol consumption levels.

For more details and statistics, check out the full report here:

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