Sometimes it’s a specialty drink and not a burger that compels consumers to visit a restaurant. The food service market research arm of NPD Group, a consumer market research firm, has compiled data on beverage growth in restaurants.
Studies indicate that customers like drinks that are both familiar and new. That combination “has brought about a change in the mix of beverages consumed at commercial foodservice,” Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst, NPD Group told Nation’s Restaurant News. “The beverages growing in popularity provide restaurant consumers with what they’re looking for in terms of flavors, taste, thirst quenching, price, and less calories.”
Many restaurants have become increasingly more creative regarding beverage menus. Here are five types of drinks that consumers are guzzling at high rates.
- Iced, frozen or slushy coffee: Once upon a time, consumers could only purchase cold coffee drinks at java shops. Now, fast-food joints like McDonald‘s (NYSE:MCD) and Dunkin Donuts (NASDAQ:DNKN) are selling frozen coffee drinks year-round.
- Smoothies: Some shops like Smoothie King and Monster Beverage’s (NASDAQ:MNST) Java Juice heavily rely upon smoothie sales, but the thick creamy drinks can also be found at Burger King and other eateries.
- Cappuccino, espresso and lattes: Coffee houses are still in demand. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) received a sales boost this past winter thanks to its special holiday menu.
- Iced tea: When the weather heats up, so does the demand for cool beverages like iced tea. Many restaurants have started offering a variety of flavored iced tea options.
- Frozen and slushy soft-drinks: Like iced tea, slushy drinks are most common during warmer months. Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) has been offering myriad popular slushy options for quite some time. The frozen beverage is making appearances at various other restaurants as well.
Visit NRN to read expert insights about restaurant beverages.