Changing Drinking Attitudes Lead Dry Bar Demand
Over the weekend Sky News ran an interesting feature on Dry Bars and their emergence on the social scene.
Their piece reports that demand for the non-alcohol pub has been fuelled by a significant change in drinking attitudes.
Sky News contacted us to check if the reduction in adult drinking rates showed consistency with teenage drinking rates and kindly linked to our website in their piece.
Catherine Salway set up a Dry Bar in London last year after spotting a trend in young people wanting to be healthier and cutting back their drinking.
She said: “If you’re 30 now, you’ve grown up in an environment where everyone is getting lashed all the time … and really, as young people want to do, they are questioning the status quo which is to say why is socialising constantly linked with being drunk all the time?”
The findings from our Social Norms programme indicate that young people are not really aware of what that “status quo” actually is – until we tell them the truth about how many non-drinkers there really are.
And the numbers are changing significantly.
In 2011, the numbers of young people who rarely or never drank alcohol were 82%.
In March 2014 this number has now risen to 89%. The biggest surprise to many is that more than half of this 89% represent young people who do not drink at all (over 40,000 13-15 year olds surveyed).
When we started, perceptions of those drinking once a week or more started at around 54%.
The data for this has now moved to around 41% in most parts of the UK, thus helping to drive a more positive change in behaviour.
The story from Sky News is an extremely welcome step change from the typical reporting you see in the media relating to young people and binge drinking.
For us, it’s another example of why understanding and tackling the ‘Social Norm’ must remain central to any long term behavioural change strategy.