What is Dry January?
As the invitations to holiday parties and gatherings continue to roll in, we bring you easy tips to up your outfit game
To begin with, let’s address the question, what is Dry January? In the simplest of words, it’s a month when you say no to alcohol for the first month of the year. Factually speaking, the origin dates back to the UK in 2013. After which, soon enough, the world woke up to the benefits of abstinence — on the waistline, on the pocket, and it also led to the awareness of alcohol abuse and the treatment. In 2013, 4,000 people signed up for Dry January and in 2022 — 1,30,000 people signed up for it. Of course, the trend caught on with Dubai as well — and as always, the experts here are not only encouraging us to follow the healthy route, but also have expanded the range of beverages when it comes to the non-alcoholic market in the region. "During the festive season, many of us think having too many party invitations is a nice problem, but if you say 'yes' to every get-together, you may head for exhaustion. It's easy to get stressed and fatigued when you try to fit too much into every day, so allow yourself. January is a good time to slow down," said Dr Bahjat Balbous, Specialist Psychiatrist, Euromed Clinic Dubai.
People want to lead more holistic lifestyles whilst being social. The emergence of more brands playing within the space, is giving consumers more sophisticated options than traditional juice and soda to moderate their alcohol consumption whilst still being able to remain social.
Mark Livings, CEO & Co-founder, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic
Should you take on a Dry January?
“January is the perfect occasion to set personal goals and ambitions for the year ahead. Globally, in January we see an increase in both trial and scan data of over 25% as more consumers moderate their consumption of alcohol,” said Mark Livings, CEO & Co-founder, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic. “Dry January is the perfect opportunity, at the start of the new year, to re-evaluate your relationship to alcohol and understand how it makes you feel,” said Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, Co-Founder, French Bloom. She highlighted the benefits including sound sleep, weight loss, radiant skin, more energy and an overall improved health, “Though it’s more than that, I’ve seen how a month without alcohol can inspire many to drink less over the long term. Because you soon realise that you can celebrate fully, dance all night, feel real connection with your loved ones, all without consuming a drop.” French Bloom offers sulfite-free, halal-certified, and low in calories, products with a clean finish and sophisticated aromatic journey. Why is there a rise in acceptance and production of non-alcoholic drinks? Mark shared how the growth is driven by moderation, “Globally, consumers aged 18-24 are drinking over 20% less than previous generations ten years ago. We know that one third of consumers aren’t consuming alcohol when socialising.”
The world is changing without a doubt. Alcohol consumption is declining worldwide, with young people leading the way. With each generation, we see a decrease in average alcohol consumption.
Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, Co-Founder, French Bloom
What are the non-alcoholic beverages made up of?
It’s a creation, which is a blend of various production methods. “We aimed at taking the most natural, healthful approach to creating our range, and the brand is the result of more than two years of R & D, as well as several technological innovations. We start with the finest organic grape, and manually de-alcoholize it to 0.0% alcohol; adding natural and organic ingredients such as lemon juice, to create a balanced and elevated flavour profile, without adding preservatives or sugars,” highlighted Mary. At Lyre’s, quality, all-natural, allergen-free extracts, essences, and distillates from around the world are used to create the range of non-alcoholic spirits. “The production method differs from those created via dealcoholsing a distilled spirit. We have found that the removal of alcohol also removes a lot of the flavour and body of the product,” said Mark. Lyre’s offer a range of alcohol-free classic spirits created using a unique understanding of food science and flavour architecture.
Healthier and more mindful decisions
New awakening: To the fact that health is the new wealth. The wellness movement (exercise, mental health, vegetarianism etc.) has been growing over the last decade, and hence this is the era which has led consumers to make healthier and more mindful decisions.
Accelerated by Covid-19: It brought with it the realisation that without our health, life comes to a halt. When home-office work ceased and the evening began, to toast the occasion with a glass, many of us just didn’t feel like our best and started considering a more moderate lifestyle.
Inclusivity: There is more emphasis on the fact that those who choose 'not to drink' face discrimination in many parts of the world. It is no longer acceptable to not have options for non-drinkers at events, shopping at luxury stores, or dining at gastronomic restaurants.
(As told by Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger, Co-Founder, French Bloom)
Count the benefits
A month alcohol-free has a lot of benefits: research published in 2018, conducted by the Royal Free Hospital and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a month off:
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces diabetes risk
Reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.