This post is sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice.
Offering on-trend beverages can be a simple way to spark customer interest. Iced coffee, sparkling water and craft cocktails or mocktails allow foodservice operations to offer a range of options to build buzz with beverages.
Iced coffee can give beverage sales a jolt
Iced coffee sales grew 17% in foodservice, with millennials purchasing cold coffee at 3x the rate of Baby Boomers, according to NPD CREST data for the 12 month period ending December 2016.
Cold brew coffee was among the top culinary trend predictions for 2018, according to chefs surveyed for the National Restaurant Association What’s Hot 2018 Culinary Forecast. Cold brew is made by brewing with cold water to slowly extract the flavors from ground coffee for a smooth, sweet finish. The brewing process can take hours, so foodservice operators should be prepared by having large batches of cold brew at the ready or stocking a bottled product that eliminates the mess and labor of house-made cold brew. No. 1 ready-to-drink coffee brand Starbucks (according to retail sales data from IRI) offers bottled iced coffee in traditional and cold brew varieties. Starbucks Cold Brew includes sweetened and unsweetened black varieties, as well as flavored products that complement the coffee’s smooth taste with flavor pairings such as vanilla and fig or cocoa and honey.
Demand for sparkling water continues to bubble up
Another beverage category seeing a boost from consumers’ quests to reduce their sugar intake is sparkling water, specifically flavored varieties. The global sparkling water market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 3% during the period 2016-2020, according to a report from Technavio. Younger consumers are driving growth in the category, and 37% of 25-to-34-year-old Americans have had flavored sparkling water in the last three months, according to a recent Mintel’s report.
PepsiCo Foodservice launched its new entry into the sparkling water category earlier this year with bubly. The canned sparkling water contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or calories and is available in eight flavors including lime and grapefruit.
Serve festive refreshment with cocktails and mocktails
In addition to being a refreshing beverage on their own, sparkling waters also make an excellent base for cocktails, made with or without alcohol. Craft sodas are another growing category of beverages that can also be used to create drinks that allow foodservice operators to offer specialty beverages that meet consumer expectations.
“The craft beverage industry continues to grow, as more and more people are looking for new beverage experiences and authentic brands with quality ingredients,” said PepsiCo Foodservice Vice President of Insights and Innovation Scott Finlow. “When used as a mixer for cocktails or mocktails craft sodas like Stubborn Soda or Bundaberg ginger beer provide an elevated consumer experience.”
If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to ProChef SmartBrief or check out all of SmartBrief’s food and travel newsletters as we offer more than 30 newsletters covering the food and travel industries from restaurants, food retail and food manufacturing to business travel, the airline and hotel industries and gaming.