U.S. Non-Alcoholic Beverage Trends: Understanding consumer and foodservice operator wants for beverages including soda, packaged water, juice, iced tea, lemonade, slushies, smoothies, milkshakes, sports drinks, energy drinks, and enhanced water

Oct 2018| MDK020A| Datassential

Report Highlights

Consumers have about 7 beverages per day, which has been consistent over time. Consumption is greatest in the early morning, and at meal times.

Water (tap and bottled) accounts for ~1 in 3 of all beverage occasions on any given day. Consumers are drinking more bottled water, potentially choosing newer items (like electrolyte water and other enhanced waters) over traditional CSDs, teas, juices, and milk.

Consumers are increasing their consumption of beverages with a health halo: still water, smoothies, and sparkling water are all growing. The beverages that consumers are most likely to be cutting back on are high sugar drinks like soda, energy drinks, and fruit punch.

Iced tea is a top beverage for a wide variety of need states; smoothies are unique for being a craveable treat that also provides a health boost. Though many consumers are decreasing their soda consumption, they acknowledge that it is an ideal pair for meals that is part of their regular beverage routine.

Non-alcoholic beverages help keep margins high for most operators. Most operators see value in offering premium beverages, but few use or plan to use new, trendy flavors or ingredients to reach their consumers.

Most operators offer soda, juice, iced tea, and lemonade. Packaged water is also common, while specialty beverages like smoothies, milkshakes, and slushies are featured on fewer menus.

The categories of beverages offered vary significantly by segment, with soda and iced tea more common in restaurants, while juice dominates on-site, and retailers offer the widest variety. Most appear settled with their current beverage menu, but nearly one in 10 planning changes are looking to add packaged water and smoothies.

Let it pour. The beverage landscape is changing, from the rise of packaged water and functional drinks like kombucha to changing flavor profiles that borrow ingredients from the rest of the menu. As their choices expand, consumers are looking to certain beverage categories for specific occasions. Operators say the rising profile of beverages is driving increased sales and that drinks are important profit drivers. Find out more with fact-based, actionable insights into the world of soda, water, juice, iced tea, and beyond.

Beverage Varieties & Topical Issues
Learn about soda, sparkling and still packaged water, 100% fruit and fruit/veg juice blends, iced tea, lemonade, fruit punch, smoothies, milkshakes, slushies, sports drinks, energy drinks, and enhanced water. Other topics include functional beverages, single-use plastic straws, liquid water enhancers, and at-home sparkling water makers.

At-home and AFH Consumption
Discover what factors lead consumers to purchase one brand over another at retail. Understand which AFH venues are top-of-mind for each type of beverage.

Comparisons Across Beverages
Identify the beverages for which sales and consumption are increasing, which are best at satisfying consumer need states, where brand is the most valuable, which premium descriptors are most impactful for each beverage, and more.

Operator Perspectives
Uncover what beverage equipment is being used in operations, and which are seeing increased usage. Discover what types of products are purchased by restaurant, on-site, and retail operators.

Restaurant Menus & Consumer Appeal
Follow the growth of beverages, flavors, and other ingredients; pinpoint emerging ingredients and flavor profiles; see how consumer beverage affinity varies by generation, gender, and geographic location.

Datassential, a Chicago-based food industry research and consulting firm, brings clients real-world information on foodservice and consumer packaged goods in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s services, including its extensive MenuTrends database, provide in-depth reporting on trends in menu offerings, flavor profiles, ingredients and preparations. Datassential helps operators, retailers, and suppliers understand and capitalize on these important trends.

Datassential makes the food industry smarter. We provide trend software, predictive analytics, and consumer insights that help manufacturers, food retailers, and chain restaurants innovate and sell more intelligently.

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