Innovative Beverage Options Increasingly Drive Restaurant Visits, Finds Technomic

Sept. 16, 2014

CHICAGO, Sept. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A fifth of today's consumers (21 percent, up from 16 percent in 2012) say that beverages play a very important role in deciding which restaurants to visit for meals. This increase is primarily driven by consumers aged 18–44, who tend to use beverages for a wide variety of occasions, including snacks and social visits.

Operators are maximizing potential beverage occasions by promoting off-peak dining hours and launching innovative, custom beverages that get people in the door. Consumer demand for variety and customization will lead to even more innovation in terms of beverage type and flavor, and an increasing focus on health and natural ingredients will inspire drink development.

"Operators must focus on increased consumer demand for variety and health when they are developing or revamping their beverage menus," said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic. "Restaurants with strong beverage programs can play into health and variety by offering customization options for core drinks."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviors, preferences and attitudes of consumers regarding non-alcohol beverages, Technomic has published an update of its Beverage Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings include:

  • Fast-food concepts dominate: 89 percent of consumers purchased food and/or a beverage in the last month at a fast-food restaurant, more than for any other segment.
  • Convenience and speed are strong beverage traffic drivers: 44 percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit concepts with than without a drive-thru for beverage-only occasions.
  • More than two-fifths of consumers (44 percent, up from 39 percent in 2012) call for healthier beverages at restaurants.
  • At least two-fifths of consumers strongly agree that full-service restaurants (46 percent, up from 42 percent in 2010) and fast-food concepts (40 percent) should offer greater beverage variety.

Technomic's Beverage Consumer Trend Report provides comprehensive research on the latest menu and consumer trends for restaurant beverages, organized into five sections:

Menu Insights—showcases top beverage trends for leading restaurant and retail chains and utilizes MenuMonitor data to reveal changes in beverage items, flavors and brands over the past two years.

Consumer Insights—analyzes consumer preferences and attitudes toward beverages, based on findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers.

Competitive Insights—examines consumer perceptions of attributes important to the beverage category, including overall beverage quality and variety of non-alcohol cold beverages, at 15 leading limited-service chains based on Technomic's Consumer Brand Metrics(CBM) program.

Outlook—explores menu and consumer research, including mining of secondary data, to reveal emerging trends poised to further impact the development of the beverage category.

Profiles—appendices feature in-depth profiles for 10 emerging-chain or independent limited-service concepts that are developing winning menus around a variety of beverage types.

Technomic publishes a complete library of consumer trend reports. To learn more, please visit or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or our blog.

About Technomic

Technomic provides comprehensive global information, analysis and insights to food industry executives through high quality fact-based consulting, market research, online databases, tracking services and industry events. Our programs and services are designed to target the specific needs of leadership, sales, management, marketing and product development professionals. At Technomic, we're always innovating to keep pace with emerging global markets and trends. For over 45 years we've been supporting clients' strategic decisions. Our breadth of research enables us to keep a pulse on the food industry, by providing insights into local markets with a global scope. Visit us at