Most Americans only lasted 10 days into Dry January before pouring a drink

New research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cupcake LightHearted wine reveals Dry January did not work out for most Americans (Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash).

The average American only lasted 10 days into Dry January before picking up a drink, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 Americans 21+ to reflect on their experiences with Dry January and their overall drinking habits.

Seven in 10 respondents (69%) said they’ve taken part in the month-long challenge to not drink alcohol at the top of the year — and it doesn’t usually work out.

Over half (55%) of pollsters who have participated in Dry January said it was unsuccessful, and a quarter said this was very unsuccessful.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cupcake LightHearted wine, the survey found that 4% of respondents failed Dry January right on Jan. 1 and 8% said they poured themselves a drink by Jan. 3.

The top reasons respondents shared they failed Dry January included merely forgetting they were taking part in it in the first place, followed by attending happy hours with friends (39%) or going out on a date (37%).

Looking past January and into the remainder of 2021, 72% of those surveyed said they want to be more mindful of their nutritional habits this year.

One way 63% of respondents are doing this includes being “sober-curious,” meaning they’d like to take a set amount of time to cut down on their drinking.

In fact, 55% of those surveyed said cutting down on their drinking is one of their overall goals for the year and an additional 60% want to find a lighter option of their favorite drink.

This goal has been difficult to achieve for respondents, however, as 52% feel like they have to sacrifice flavor when opting for a lower calorie adult beverage.

And as respondents plan their goals for 2021, 55% said picking up a diet that requires them to completely cut out alcohol is a definite no-go and an additional 55% said these diets have not been successful for them in the past.

“We were curious about what Americans wanted to achieve in 2021 after a difficult and stressful year,” said Jessica Tomei, winemaker for Cupcake LightHearted.

“While it seems like many Americans had trouble sticking with their Dry January goals last month, the results showed that 56% of respondents would be interested in trying a low-alcohol version of their favorite drinks.”

The survey also delved into what exactly Americans look for in an adult beverage and found, naturally, taste is the most important thing (55%) closely followed by being low in calories (49%).

Twenty percent of pollsters who drink wine (approximately 1,800 respondents) also shared that they “always” end up buying the same bottle of wine because they don’t know what else to buy.

“On the whole, more than 72% of Americans want to be more mindful of their nutritional habits this year, with 66% planning to make small changes to their eating and drinking habits instead of making one big goal,” Tomei continued. “Trying a lower-alcohol and lower-calorie version of their favorite drink could be a great first step.”


  • Forgot they were doing Dry January — 44%
  • Went to a happy hour with friends/coworkers — 39%
  • Went on a date — 37%
  • Bad day at work — 36%
  • Wanted to relax — 33%
  • Stress watching the news — 25%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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