When it comes to the beverage side of the foodservice business, it seems the glass is more than half full, with good reason to be optimistic of its ability to drive a higher check average. In fact, consumers are brimming with enthusiasm for beverages, which average upwards of $181 billion in sales annually, according to the food and beverage research firm Technomic.1
The average consumer orders four or more drinks a week,2 generating a steady flow of revenue that should command the attention of suppliers and operators.
In one year alone, more than 113 billion drinks were served,1 leaving little doubt that the rising tide of beverage sales could help buoy up the bottom line in a big way. According to David Henkes, senior principal at the food and beverage research firm Technomic, $1 out of every $5 consumers spend when eating out goes toward beverage purchases.1
Beverages are more than an add-on; they’re a must from a menu innovation standpoint. “They are a critical part of the overall experience,” Henkes points out, “and, because of their central importance, it’s absolutely crucial for restaurant operators and their suppliers to understand how innovation impacts consumer satisfaction.”1
Patrick Egan, Technomic’s manager of research and insights, says “flavored waters, plant-based milks, cold-brew coffee, aguas frescas and fresh-pressed juices are some of the categories taking advantage of modern consumer beverage preferences."1
Going with the Flow: Beverage Market Follows Foodservice Trends
Survey results show that beverage consumption is increasing at foodservice operations. Among the beverages being purchased more frequently are smoothie (38%), hot specialty coffee (37%) and packaged cold/iced coffee (37%).3 Demand is increasing too, with more than half of survey participants agreeing that full-service restaurants should offer greater variety.3
Over 30% of consumers surveyed would like to try new beverages at restaurants.3 Given millennial preferences for bold and adventurous flavor profiles, it makes sense to elevate the menu with an innovative mix of mocktails, alcohol-infused drinkable desserts, over-the-top milkshakes and better-of-you concoctions.
Fresh quality, local sourcing and wellness rise to the top of consumer preferences for beverages. Survey participants would be more likely to purchase beverages that are fresh brewed (67%), local (54%) and antioxidant rich (52%), and that contain probiotics (43%).3
A research study by Mintel, a market intelligence and advisory firm, underscores the importance of functional benefits in the ready-to-drink coffee market (the fastest-growing segment of the category).4
“Consumer interest in better-for-you beverages is also shaping the market as demand for organic and non-GMO coffee or functional formulations enhanced with all-natural flavors, protein and vitamins grows,” explained Mintel Senior Beverage Analyst Caleb Bryant.4 “The broader trend of beverage blurring is also opening up opportunity for innovation and brand extension, especially in the RTD segment.”4
Mondelēz International can help elevate your beverage menu with a broad spectrum of on-trend options, from Vegan Matcha Tea Shake with OREO Cookie Pieces to Banana Blended Ice with NUTTER BUTTER and much more. Contact us below for innovation solutions from trusted brands to help satisfy your thirst for beverage sales.
3 Technomic, Beverage Consumer Trend Report Beverage Infographic, 2018