Trend: Millennials Are Going Alcohol-Free
There is a growing trend across the Western world where more and more millennials are starting to opt for an alcohol free lifestyle. This can be seen as part of the growing trend where young people are opting to live a wellness-oriented life.
For a long time alcohol linked socializing has played a major role in initiating and sustaining alcohol consumption among people. This landscape is changing for America where more younger Americans between 22 to 38 years, or the Millennial generation are choosing to reduce, or their alcohol use or never really get started. They are aided by public health efforts to reduce alcohol consumption.
Even beverage producers have noticed the trend and are introducing more non-alcoholic drinks. The media coverage of the trend has seen a bunch of stories about Millennials going sober.
Social Pressure to Use Alcohol
For millennials, alcohol-centric socializing has crept in their lives and remained for a long time. For the young, urban and college-educated Americans alcohol consumption is a part of social activities.
Millennials are increasingly conscious about these social pressures for alcohol use and have started to object. By more and more millennials moving into alcohol free lifestyles, alcohol is loosing its former place in society.
Millenials View Alcohol as an Economic Drain
This is a generation lagging behind in wealth accumulation compared to previous generations. Most milliennials are seeing the amount of money spent on alcohol as a waste.
I’ve already calculated how much I’m saving by not [consuming alcohol], and I’m thinking about where I can put that money now,” said Alex Belfiori, a 30-year-old IT professional in Pittsburgh, as per The Atlantic.
Young adults increasingly inclined to go alcohol free despite the social pressure.
Drinking [alcohol] just feels boring and needlessly expensive,” said Nina Serven, a 24-year-old brand manager living in Brooklyn, as per The Atlantic.
Not All News is Good
According to Britta Starke, an addictions therapist and the program director of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center at the University of North Carolina, millennials who are not moving to alcohol free lifestyles still consume alcohol heavily. Starke claims to see a lot of people under 35 with advanced liver disease or alcohol hepatitis. She says while the attitude to reduce consumption is developing, many others are still struggling. Nearly 90,000 people still die from alcohol-related causes in America every year, and that number hasn’t started to meaningfully improve.
Despite the challenges, the landscape is changing to suit the growing alcohol-free trend. It’s become easier in recent years to find alcohol-free cocktails in urban bars across America. In New York City, a few young entrepreneurs are opening new kinds of spaces to serve the alcohol-free tastes of their peers.
Listen Bar, a clubby pop-up that gives patrons a chance to party free from alcohol, is crowdfunding to lease its first permanent location. In Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, Getaway, a bar so dedicated to being alcohol-free that it won’t even use bitters that contain alcohol, is opening in a few weeks.
Alcohol-free lifestyle is catching on even more strongly with generation Z, who are currently in high school and college. Gen Z’s consumption of alcohol is lower than adolescents of all generations before. This is positive news as substance use in early life is a major predictor of a person’s lifetime relationship with substance abuse and consumption.