Rosa Saba The Canadian PressRetrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/new-alcohol-recommendations-could-speed-up-changing-drinking-habits-businesses-1.6251909
New guidance for drinking alcohol could speed up changing consumer drinking habits as younger generations drink less and non-alcoholic beverages become more popular, advocates and business owners in the beverage industry say.
A report released earlier this month by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, funded by Health Canada, stirred widespread attention with guidance that consuming more than two drinks per week constituted a moderate health risk due to evidence linking alcohol to cancer — a significant change from previous guidelines in 2011 that said men could have up to 15 drinks per week with low risk, and women up to 10.
But the new guidelines aren’t a nail in the coffin for the beverage industry, businesses say — though they may hasten the shift in consumer habits that were already underway.
“I mean, the study really just reports what is obvious, which is there’s a risk to drinking,” said Nick Kennedy, owner of Civil Liberties, a cocktail bar in Toronto.
“I think it’s good that we’re taking a sober look at drinking culture,” he said.
In recent years, customers have been looking to drink less and explore more non-alcoholic options, Kennedy said.
In the past five years, Civil Liberties has expanded its non-alcoholic offerings due to customer demands and a growing number of ingredient options, said Kennedy.
Having these options means the bar can serve a wider variety of customers, he said, and as the taboos around not drinking soften, more people are asking for no- or low-alcohol drinks.
Kennedy doesn’t think drinking will ever go away because it’s so ingrained in social culture, but he does think attitudes toward alcohol will continue to shift and businesses need to adapt.
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