Industry Trends by Beverage


Coffee – A longtime staple of the beverage landscape, coffee is the second-most consumed non-alcoholic drink in the United States. Hot regular coffee accounted for over 75% of coffee sales in the foodservice industry in 2014 according to NACS and the trend will likely continue as over 60% of Americans say they drink coffee on a daily basis according to the National Coffee Association. Quality coffee is becoming a premium with 68% of coffee consumers saying quality and taste are the reasons they choose a particular location for their purchase. Coffee is also a rare beverage that boasts a 50/50 split in on- and off-premise consumption according to NPD.

Iced Tea – Iced tea is a rising star in the beverages market. Domestic tea sales in restaurants and grocery stores have grown 32% since 2007 and World Tea Expo is predicting 50% growth in premium tea sales world-wide by 2016. Iced tea is heavily associated with meals as nearly 80% of consumption comes in the lunch and supper dayparts and it is the most popular non-carbonated cold beverage on foodservice menus according Dataessential. Usually thought of as a warm weather drink, it is becoming a year-round beverage and one in nearly every 10 foodservice orders includes an iced tea annually according to NPD.

Espresso – Led by espresso, gourmet coffee continues to skyrocket in popularity with over 1.3 billion hot specialty coffee drinks consumed in the foodservice industry in 2013. National Coffee Association data showed consumption jumped 9% in 2012 from the previous year among American consumers and it is finding a niche in the ever-popular PM Snack (after 1 p.m.) category as 27% of consumption comes in this daypart. Specialty coffee also accounts for over 12% of hot coffee sales in foodservice. Leading the category, espresso is dominated by female consumption (67%) and regionally consumption is most heavy in the west with 46% of consumption taking place in that region.

Hot Dispensed Beverage – If you’re looking for growth potential in this category, look no further than hot chocolate as it is showing some of the biggest potential in the hot dispensed beverage. NPD is predicting a double digit Percentage Change Yearly Average (PCYA) for carryout consumption. Hot chocolate is strongest in the morning meal daypart however PM snack accounts for almost a quarter of the business and is growing. Not surprisingly, the under-18 age group has the highest consumption percentage however the 18-24 demographic owns the highest consumption index.

Cold Dispensed Beverage – A traditional favorite, lemonade is poised to make a strong push in the market again. A beverage usually served with meals, over 80-percent of consumption comes in the lunch and dinner dayparts according to NPD, and it may expand beyond the table with its ability to be paired with other flavors. Juice continues to have a balanced yearly profile averaging just over 30-percent of foodservice orders yearly and, not surprisingly, the morning meal daypart is the heaviest consumption with over half of consumption occurring during the breakfast hours.

Frozen Dispensed Beverage – Refreshing and in some cases healthy, frozen slushies and smoothies are the bellwethers of the frozen dispensed category. There were approximately 8.2 million slushy drinks served in the United States in 2013. Both beverages are big hits with females, combining to account for nearly 60% of consumption. Both drinks are becoming large players in the PM Snack daypart as well, over 30% of slushy drinks and over 30% of smoothies are consumed after 1 p.m. and according to NPD, both have big growth potential for that daypart in the coming year. The southern region of the United States accounts for the highest percentage of smoothie consumption while the western region boasts the highest consumption index.

Water – The most consumed beverage in the world shows no signs of letting up any time soon. The ever-present push for healthy drink options and water’s ability to be paired virtually anything will continue to fuel its consumption. Over 90% of Americans say they drink either tap or bottled water daily according to the National Coffee Association. NPD data indicates the highest consumption index for bottled water comes from the 18-24 age group while the 65+ is top age bracket for tap water.

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