Sales of hot and cold beverages account for more than $181 billion in annual sales at foodservice outlets and totaled over 113 billion servings in 2016, according to Technomic Inc.’s 2017 Away-From-Home Beverage Study. This means that beverages account for $1 out of every $5 consumers spend away from home.
According to a Technomic analyst, flavored waters, plant-based milks, cold-brew coffee, aguas frescas, and fresh-pressed juices are some of the categories that are growing in light of modern consumer beverage preferences. Attributes like taste and refreshment are still dominating the consumer mindset, but there’s also an increased emphasis on beverage health and functionality because of demographic and regulatory shifts. Consumers no longer seek beverages as a simple meal compliment, but rather as a snack, pick-me-up, or meal replacement.
The study also revealed that diet beverages sweetened with zero-calorie sugar substitutes are no longer perceived to be healthy; younger consumers tend to downplay brand importance relative to older consumers; and pricing and taste remain the top two attributes operators emphasize when sourcing their beverage products.
Source: Specialty Food News