The morose of a down year has bled into Dry January, and alcohol’s brand has suffered some setbacks recently and some of the anti-alcohol campaigns are hard to understand. Especially in light of the fact that cannabis seems to escape these attacks.
The Dry January Movement which is detrimental to the alcohol industry is based on a theory that alcohol is so unhealthy that one should completely abstain for the whole month. The theory is one parties hard in December with Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and a plethora of Christmas Parties and that January is a time to clean out the toxins.
This could be true if alcohol in itself is dangerous, but it is not. It is the abuse of alcohol that represents the real danger. There is nothing wrong with abstaining from alcohol, but when it is pushed as healthy to abstain on a temporary basis, and then get back in the game, it becomes separated from reality.
If you are going to drink responsibly, a month of abstinence is not what is required, what is required is drinking in moderation.
Why the alcohol industry suffers this stigma that forces a Dry January upon society is puzzling. There is no widespread matching marketed program like smokeless September for the cannabis industry. As governors tout the growth of the cannabis industry and with it more people getting high, alcohol seems to be under health attacks.
The WHO has come up with the theory that one drop of alcohol is bad and the trend towards alcohol sales falling is real. In Illinois probably for the first time ever the annual liquor tax revenue dropped from one year to the next.
However, even with the attacks it faces, I am bullish on the alcohol industry. Why, because innovation is always occurring and a new trend seems to come to the forefront when you least expect it. Ten years ago, where were RTDs, and before that the craft explosions in beer, spirits, and wine.
Although innovation is the key to growth, the alcohol industry needs to fight the perception that it is not a positive and that it is harmful. There is no doubt the morose of last year will not creep back and the industry will be in a healthy place, but we shouldn’t get complacent.