Restaurant 'Beverage-Only' Sales Rise, Says Research Group

Consumers ordering beverages without food represent an increasing percentage of restaurant traffic and occurs throughout the day, according to NPD Group's Expanded Beverage Service, which tracked all beverage foodservice occasions from October 2011 to March 2012. The new foodservice beverage research finds that "beverage-only" foodservice occasions steadily increase during the morning, peak between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and then gradually taper off through the late afternoon and evening hours. Shakes, smoothies, slushy drinks, coffee, and bottled water are among the beverages more likely to be consumed at a restaurant occasion that doesn't include food.

"Consumers are responding to new beverage introductions and the aggressive promotion of beverages, and as a result beverage-only has become a significant growth opportunity for the foodservice industry," says Kyle Olund, director, foodservice product development at NPD, in a prepared statement. "There is, however, a complexity to beverage-only foodservice occasions and it's important for foodservice operators and manufacturers to have a full understanding of the foodservice beverage landscape in order to capitalize on this growing and changing market." 

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