The Rise of Conscientious Drinking
Here Are 3 Things You Need to Know About LDA Gen Z & Millennials:
1. Younger generations are being more intentional about WHEN they drink
Dry dating (i.e., going on alcohol-free dates) is a popular trend from the Sober Curious movement, and Gen Z leads in both personal experience and willingness to skip the alcohol during romantic encounters.
Open to Dry Dating:
of Gen Z
Despite differing levels of participation and interest in dry dating, Gen Z and Millennials agree that dry dating offers several advantages during romantic encounters versus when alcohol is involved.
- Particularly high among women during first dates
“It can be extremely safer to dry date at first especially if it’s with somebody you haven’t met previously before, being a woman is dangerous and you can never be sure of others intentions, so sometimes it’s best to field a date situation while being as sober as you can be.”
? More authentic experience
- Getting to know the real person/be your real self and enjoy a more meaningful interaction
“I think it is a great way to actually get to know a person when alcohol is not involved because you see the real them not the person alcohol turns you into. I tried it for that exact reason. I liked that it was more real. And I disliked that sometimes when you are drinking you are more fun.”
? Enjoying different dating activities
- Going outside, exercising, and enjoying cultural events without alcohol
“It was really fun, it’s something I have done before all these trends. I think dry dating is just going on a regular date. We just went around the city and walked all over visiting stores and stopping at parks. When the sun was starting to set we went and got some food and after we went back to my place.”
? Pushing your comfort zone
- Learning to carry conversations, be open and honest, and judge the interraction without the influence of alcohol
“Honesty of boundaries, more straight forward conversations, safer dating environment over all.”
? Avoid negatives of alcohol
- Avoiding impaired judgement/inhibitions, , hangovers, costs, etc.
“I enjoy dry dating because you get to truly engage with the person you are with. I don’t have to worry about looking like a fool by the end of the night, or having the date turn into a one-night-stand. The date is more meaningful.”
? Help the date feel more comfortable
“Tried it because my boyfriend isn’t a drinker. We like to find things to do without alcohol, it makes him more comfortable and we have more fun knowing we’re both all the way there.”
2. And Gen Z is reconsidering WHY they drink as they move away from alcohol consumption for stress relief
Compared to Millennials, Gen Z are much less likely to drink to cope with stress.
of Gen Z drink to relieve stress
of Millennials drink to relieve stress
However, both generations participate in a variety of non-drinking activities to stay centered. By far, exercise and physical activity are the most universal stress relieving activities. Others find peace by reading & writing or by practicing mindfulness. Still, others play games, opt for social time, use recreational drugs (marijuana & psychedelics), or listen to music to feel more balanced.
Non-drinking related activities for stress-management:
“My number 1 is taking a bath. Nothing relaxes me more, I swear. I also like to dive into something creative, so I upcycle or journal. I also clean A LOT when I’m stressed.” – Gen Z
utilize non-drinking related activities
“Smoking medical marijuana, playing video games, going on walks, exercising, and stretching.” – Gen Z
“Instead of drinking alcohol I use exercise or outdoor walks to help alleviate my stress.” – Gen Z
3. A growing minority are being more intentional about WHAT they drink, choosing low ABV/healthier options
Although just over one in ten are routinely reaching for healthier alcoholic beverages, more than half of young consumers would be more interested in brands if they offered healthier products (i.e., lower ABV and/or health benefits).
Are typically reaching for beverages with lower alcohol content and/or purported health benefits
Would be more interested in companies that increased their offerings of lower ABV/health benefits products
Among those who prefer healthier beverages, the majorities of both Gen Z and Millennial consumers are recent adopters which suggests that established consumers of regular products are being swayed to healthier options.
Recent Low ABV Adoption:
of Gen Z
And while wellbeing and health are the primary drivers of interest in healthier alcoholic beverages, taste and lifestyle also factor into the decision. Fewer want to get buzzed, especially in social situations, and some find that they enjoy the flavor of beverages more without the bite of alcohol.
“It’s better on my body and allows me to hang out longer without worrying about drinking too much. I also think they taste better.” – Gen Z
“Trying to maintain my goal of a healthy lifestyle but still being able to let loose and have fun.” – Gen Z
“I want to make sure my health goals stay on track as well as making sure I don’t get drunk.”
A word on our approach
This study was conducted using immersive mobile messaging-based conversational exercises that capture robust quant data and emotive qual inputs in real-time from a representative LDA Gen Z & Millennial sample in one seamless experience.
Take a look at the video to see a demo of how our technology works…
Who we chatted with: N=1016 US Adults (Age 21-39), representative to US census
Field dates: April 8, 2022 – April 14, 2022