Company Updates

Sober Sipping: Instacart’s Dry January Report

Instacart

Instacart

Jan 4, 2023

Over the years, Dry January has become an increasingly popular month-long sobriety challenge, encouraging people to take a break from booze, ditch the hangover, and set the tone for a healthier new year. Last year, nearly 1 in 5 adults said they planned to participate in Dry January, and with a number of celebs adopting a teetotal lifestyle, being “sober curious” has never been more popular. Our purchase data reflects this widespread trend as the share of Instacart orders containing alcohol fell by nearly 20% in January last year compared to the month before — making it the lowest point of the year for alcohol sales. With many embracing a pause from imbibing, we took a look at what people are sipping in lieu of alcohol as they reset for the new year…

‘Tis the Season for Sober Living

So which alcohol-free beverages do people grab when they’re looking to start the year with a much-needed break from booze? Here are the drinks that have the biggest seasonal spikes in January compared to December:

Dry January

  • Juice do it. Between smoothie drinks, pressed juices, acai beverages, and fruit and vegetable blends, it’s safe to say people are juiced on increasing their nutrient intake.
  • A gut feeling. Probiotic drinks, including cultured smoothies, sodas, and kombucha all see spikes in January — most likely because these healthy bacterias are known for improving gut health.
  • Hydration station. Sports drinks and coconut water are great for hydrating and aiding workouts, so it’s no wonder they spike in January when people are setting new, healthy intentions. 
  • Tea time. And of course herbal and green teas make the list — they offer a cup of comfort packed with antioxidants. 

Drinks in Disguise  

Beyond Dry January, many people are taking breaks from alcohol to explore the sober curious lifestyle. As a result, we also see a rise in alcohol alternatives, including traditionally alcoholic drinks without alcohol such as beer, wine, and non-alcoholic spirits. These healthier alternatives have grown by nearly 15% this year compared to 2021.

“Over the past year, the number of alcohol alternative brands and products sold via Instacart has increased by nearly 33% compared to the year before, which further substantiates a growing consumer trend to reduce or replace alcohol consumption,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert. “Beyond the Instacart platform, there are plenty of bars, shops, and tasting events popping up in larger cities that are entirely devoted to zero-proof beverages, which is interesting to see – and I’ve even joined in on the trend myself! With an increasing number of people experimenting with sober curiosity and clean living, we can expect to see even more alcohol alternatives hit the market and show up in carts in 2023.”

Here are the top 10 alcohol alternatives sold via Instacart in 2022:

alcohol alternatives

“Our founders Bill Shufelt and John Walker launched Athletic Brewing with the goal of revolutionizing beer for the modern adult. Knowing that roughly 60% of adults don’t regularly consume alcohol, they set out to meet the demand for craft non-alcoholic beers that was hiding in plain sight,” said Dermot Woods, Omnichannel Marketplace Manager at Athletic Brewing. “We’re thrilled to have our two original brews – Run Wild IPA and Upside Dawn Golden – featured among the 10 most ordered alcohol alternatives on Instacart. Athletic is proud to continue collaborating with Instacart and we encourage everyone to Give Dry a Try this January.”

Dry January #CartGoals

To support customers who are embracing a booze-free lifestyle, we’re introducing a Dry January Pop-Up that will include a range of drinks from non-alcoholic beers and wines to probiotic drinks, coconut water, and more. Pop-Ups showcase a curated selection of relevant products on the home screen of the Instacart App, serving up aisles of inspiration. The Dry January Pop-Up is now available so customers can seamlessly shop from a range of non-alcoholic beverages to ease into 2023.

Shop Dry January Beverages

Cheers to starting off the year on the right foot!

Adjusted for Growth

We adjust Instacart growth percentages by the overall growth of total deliveries. Doing so removes the influence of our platform growth so we can focus on the change in consumer behavior.

Instacart

Instacart

Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America, partnering with more than 1000 national, regional and local retail banners to deliver from more than 75,000 stores across more than 13,000 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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