Low and no alcohol producers are gearing up for a record number of consumers embracing Dry January this year, with a raft of campaigns targeting those looking to reduce their alcohol intake.

Alongside this, new research shows a substantial increase in the number of people – specifically those aged 45 to 64 – who have drunk, or would consider trying, lower strength alcoholic drinks.

William Grant is one of the producers investing and it said its ultra-low alcohol spirit Atopia is on a mission to make Dry January “exceptional” with a new Dry January campaign.

To raise brand awareness and drive footfall and sales via its key retail listings – which includes Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado – Atopia has launched a Dry January campaign comprising a number of different activations.

As part of this, the brand will be featured at Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking Festival on January 18 and 19, and it will also launch Atopia’s Laughter Sessions at Benk + Bo in Shoreditch on Blue Monday, “the saddest day of the year”, which falls on January 20, 2020.

Atopia is also working with Sainsbury’s to offer “perfect serve education sampling” and end-aisle displays at 100 of the supermarket retailer’s stores nationwide and it will launch in Waitrose this month with end-aisle displays and sampling in-store at key locations.

Jennifer Farrell, brand manager, said: “January is the perfect moment in time to engage mindful moderators and those who wish to reduce their alcohol intake after Christmas with an exceptional drink. We want to encourage people to embrace mindful consumption, while maintaining the quality of the occasion.”

And Amplify, another alcohol-free spirit, has a range of events and pop-ups supported by its campaign “Amplify Your Dry January”.

This will include a calendar of interactive events from “mindful creative workshops and pampering packages, to high octane fitness events, team games and sober clubbing”.

Amplify, which is sold through Morrisons and online retailers, also has activity planned for the Club Soda Mindful Drinking Festival.

Similarly, alcohol-free spirit producer Stryyk has plans for the on-trade this Dry January with partnerships with Schweppes and Belvoir in a number of venues for a Dry January menu as well as a Stryyk Trail guides to help consumers find venues serving non-alcoholic cocktails.

Chief executive of Stryyk, Alex Carlton, said this Dry January is going to be “massive”.

He said: “Over four million people signed up last year and the number is set to increase in 2020, as part of the ever-growing no and low trend.”

Meanwhile, Eden Mill, the St Andrews-based distiller and brewer, has announced the launch of its first alcohol-free range.

The Eden Nil range initially comprises two ready-to-drink canned products: the Original Gin & Tonic and the Love Gin & Rose Lemonade, each made with a non-alcoholic distillate using only water, juniper, coriander, lemon balm and cardamom.

Co-founder, Paul Miller, said: “We definitely set ourselves a challenge by creating a product that doesn’t feature Eden Mill gin, but still has the unique Eden Mill gin taste, synonymous with our brand.

“We believe we have create a product that is perfect for all occasions, from designated drivers to pregnant mums, or for the increasing number of health-conscious people, we have created a unique alternative without compromising on flavour.”

Research shows alcohol moderation is on the up within key age groups

New research from independent alcohol education charity Drinkaware has revealed that two-thirds (66%) of midlife drinkers (those aged 45 to 64) have drunk, or would try, lower strength alcoholic drinks, which is an increase of 15% in just two years.

Similarly, more than half (51%) of this age group have consumed, or would try, alcohol-free drinks, which is up from 48% last year.

Midlife UK drinkers were polled by YouGov in 2017, 2018 and 2019, as part of Drinkaware’s ongoing mission to encourage people to cut down on their drinking, which includes taking more Drink Free Days each week.

Chief executive Elaine Hindal said: “Midlife drinkers often get bad press when it comes to their drinking habits, but this new research tells us that a growing number of men and women in this age group are willing to embrace alternatives.

“People in their 40s, 50s and 60s are most at risk of alcohol-related health harms because they tend to drink more regularly and above the recommended guidelines. So it is great to see a strong increase over the last couple of years in people within this age group who feel positively about lower or no alcohol drinks.

“As huge numbers of people start January aiming to cut down on their drinking, low and alcohol-free drinks can be a powerful tool in helping them on that journey.

“Smart retailers will already be acting on these research findings by offering a good selection of no and low alcohol drinks within their store. With the wide range of high quality drinks including beers, ciders, wines and spirit alternatives now available in this sector, it has never been easier to put together an appealing selection for customers.”