Dry January increasingly popular in Netherlands, entrepreneurs note
Dry January - not drinking any alcohol for the month of January - is becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. Entrepreneurs noticed an increased demand for non-alcoholic drinks this month, NOS reports.
Lidl sold less alcohol this month. Plus and Gall & Gall sold more non-alcoholic drinks. “Non-alcoholic wine, bubbly, and beer, as well as spirits, are popular all year round, but especially in January,” a Gall & Gall spokesperson said to the broadcaster.
Non-alcoholic liquor store Nix & Nix also noticed an uptick in customers this month. “More and more people come in with: I’m not drinking for a month,” founder WIm Boekema said. “You notice that it is more popular this year. We have seen a lot of run-up from people who came into the store at the end of December or the beginning of January with this goal. After December, January is our busiest month.”
Berry Peek, who owns several liquor stores in Tilburg, told NOS that its non-alcoholic range is trendy in Dry January but also in December and the fasting period after carnival. “Then people have had their fill of drink,” he said.
Dry January was especially popular in Amsterdam this year, the hospitality association KHN said. Catering entrepreneurs in the capital saw a significant increase in demand for non-alcoholic drinks. In the rest of the country, entrepreneurs noticed it less, the association said.
IkPas, a Dutch initiative encouraging people to participate in Dry January and supporting them in the challenge, had over 25,000 registrations this year. According to IkPas, Dry January is mainly popular among people over 50, and two-thirds of the participants are women.
According to Rob Bovens, an alcohol researcher at Tilburg University who does research for IkPas, it makes sense that Dry January attracts mainly older participants as you drink more the older you are. Sixty percent of over-65-year-olds drink every day, he said to NOS. Among people under 25, only about 4 percent consume alcohol daily.
“You also see many highly educated people, but they also drink the most in the Netherlands. They can afford more and also encounter more times when alcohol is on the table,” Bovens said.
The challenge seems to be effective. After the month with no alcohol, the average participant drinks about a third less, Bovens said. Six percent stop drinking entirely for a longer period.