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Why Do Over Half Of Millennials Think It’s Cool to Drink Less These Days?

Our new research on The Sobriety Shift dives into the moderation movement currently taking hold of Millennials. We uncovered the why behind the what and how brands can adapt…

Millennials have started a sobriety shift. Alcohol-free experiences ranging from an early-morning parties to mellow after-work happy hours with non-alcoholic drinks are trending, sober influencers are posting quotes and memes to inspire followers to lay off the booze, and Dry January—a ritual of abstaining from alcohol during the entire month to counteract the overindulgence in the holidays—is increasing in popularity and securing its future as a new year tradition.

But that’s not the only evidence that a moderation movement has taken hold of young consumers. According to our recently released report, The Sobriety Shift, close to three in four 21-36-year-old drinkers have either limited the amount of alcohol they drink or are interested in doing so, and a little more than two in five are currently making a conscious effort to limit how much alcohol they drink. YPulse went straight the source to find out the truth behind this modern temperance movement, learning there are many factors at play with a change in perception being one. The majority of 21-36-year-olds don’t feel pressure—even socially—to drink, and don’t enjoy being drunk. Three in five 21-36-year-olds agree: it’s cool to drink less these days. Wellness is another major contributor to the moderation trend. This is a health-conscious generation and they have been well-schooled on the dangers of over-indulging. With so many events in the world making them feel powerless, Millennials are also attempting to exert control over more of their personal lives, spaces, and their bodies. Saving money is the top driver of their moderation, followed by avoiding hangovers, to lose weight, better mental health, and worried about their health are the most popular reasons on why 21-year-olds and older are drinking less.

It is clear that Millennials are less interested in drinking alcohol than the generations that came before them, choosing to experience more of life without the buzz—so where does this leave brands? Fortunately, moderation is also fueling new trends. Low-alcohol beverages are appealing more and more, and beer makers and big booze brands are diversifying their offerings in response, increasingly offering low-alcohol options or alternatives like CBD beverages. More than seven in ten 21-36-year-olds are on-board, stating that alcohol brands should make more low-alcohol options. But while some brands are going low-alcohol, no-alcohol drinks are trending in bars, where young consumers are ordering glasses of booze-free concoctions that layer flavors but leave out the hard stuff. According to close to four in five 21-36-year-olds, alcohol brands should understand they only want to drink once in a while—and provide new products for their more moderate efforts.

Click here to see our full report on The Sobriety Shift, and check out our infographic for a brief spotlight on the trend: