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Dry January - a new opportunity for pubs?

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After the excess of Christmas it's no surprise that an estimated 4.2 million* people are set to take part in Dry January this year.

The Dry January campaign, now in its sixth year encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of January. This combined with recent statistics to show that one in three millennials don’t drink, there is undoubtedly a radical shift in today’s mindset regarding alcohol - a gloomy prospect for operators, particularly for pubs.

As more people look to a healthier lifestyle, operators need to embrace this growing trend to make sure that when guests do venture out, they can offer them a variety of options to ensure they visit you rather than the pub down the road.

Of course, there are no rules that suggest you have to drink alcohol when you go to the pub and while it’s understandable that people who are not drinking might choose to avoid anywhere that serves alcohol, there’s nothing stopping operators enticing non-drinkers in with a good selection of alcohol-free beer and other non-alcoholic drinks – not just in January but all year round.

Set yourself apart from the competition by promoting yourself as Dry January friendly with artisan mocktails, a range of non-alcohol beers and lagers and innovative warm winter drinks – this may even entice permanent custom from millennials. Combine this with special events to encourage people to come into the pub for more than just a drink and you could see January become much more promising.

So, forget the doom and gloom that traditionally comes with the onset of Dry January, embrace the opportunity that comes with the new market of moderate or non-alcohol drinkers - after all people still crave the social interaction that only comes with a visit to the pub.

* YouGov

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