Seventy-one percent of consumers now purchase beverages away from home twice a week or more, according to Technomic's "Beverage Consumer Trend Report."
Specialty coffee sales increased by 10 percent on limited-service menus over the past two years, emerging as one of the beverage segment's leaders, Technomic reports. With the rise of sweet tea, specialty tea listings nearly doubled on menus. Smoothies grew by 8.5 percent, proving that this blended beverage has become a menu mainstay.
Other points of note from Technomic's study include:
- The number of menu items offered at leading coffee cafés has increased by 18 percent over the past two years, as non-beverage menu development becomes a major focus in this category.
- Two-thirds of consumers say they drank regular hot coffee and regular soft drinks at least once in the past month. Also, 46 percent of consumers say they purchased regular hot coffee and regular soft drinks (53 percent) from a foodservice operation at least once in the last month.
- New and unique beverages are a strong traffic driver for young consumers; 47 percent of consumers aged 18-24, compared to 29 percent of consumers overall, say they'd like to try new and unique beverages offered at restaurants.