Sales of low and no-alcohol drinks are skyrocketing so are we looking at the driest Christmas ever?
We have been going through a year unlike any other. Ever since the coronavirus hit, it has impacted our daily lives. Now it’s also affecting those annual events and holidays we celebrate every year. Many cancelled their trips abroad, children were prohibited from going out at Halloween and official bonfires did not take place on Guy Fawkes Night. Now, as people are planning for Christmas, Covid-19 may affect the festive season too.
In the run-up to December 25th, many are already stocking up on gifts and have started wrapping presents early. However, they are preparing for a Christmas like no other.
Change in Festive drinking habits?
On top of celebrating the holiday differently to adhere to safety restrictions, the festive season may also be altered by changes in drinking habits brought on by the pandemic.
The image of the family at Christmas dinner raising a glass of wine may be less common this year. And not just due to Covid restrictions.
It may simply be due to fewer people using alcohol this year and so being less inclined to have a drink this December 25th.
In fact, it looks as if 2020 may be the soberest December on record. The UK may be witnessing a downturn in the rate of people drinking alcohol at all over the Christmas season.
Driest Christmas trend gaining momentum
It may seem almost impossible not to have a drink over the holidays. However, it may not be so hard to believe, following a trend which has gained momentum throughout lockdown and beyond.
One of the most significant effects of the pandemic is a change in drinking habits across the UK. The past few months, people have become less inclined (and unable) to go out boozing. The country has also seen a massive upsurge in the sale of low or non-alcohol drinks. Perhaps surprisingly, young people are spearheading the movement; choosing not to drink alcohol at all.
This is underscored by research carried out by supermarket giant Tesco. A study revealed that around 50% of people in the 18 to 34 age brackets do not intend to consume alcohol this Christmas.
The sale of low or non-alcoholic drinks in supermarkets have risen throughout the coronavirus crisis. Sales in all categories are up, from beers and spirits to Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails. People have grown accustomed to sticking them in their trolley while doing their weekly shop.
Increase in home-based drinking
After government restrictions closed pubs and restaurants it has become more common to buy low- or no-alcohol drinks. Corner shops and supermarkets have seen an increase as home-based drinking behaviour grows in the UK.
Christmas is usually known for office parties or works nights out. Friends often go on pub crawls, students celebrate being out of classes by painting the town red. However, just like almost everything else, it looks like the festive season this year will be different. Some will now be more likely to drink a low- or alcohol-free beer over Christmas dinner than have a glass of wine. So much so that many are predicting December 2020 could be the driest Christmas in history. It’s the culmination of a crazy, unprecedented year which will linger long in the memory.