Beverage consumption from foodservice has remained relatively stable since 2016, with consumers purchasing about four beverages on average per week. At the same time, the beverage category has seen plenty of innovation. Technomic’s 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report reveals that more consumers now than two years ago say that non-alcoholic beverage offerings are important when deciding where to go for a meal, meaning unique and experiential offerings will increasingly serve as destination drivers. This also shows that takeout and delivery could drive sales rather than cannibalize dine-in occasions so long as operators are willing to adapt to shifting demands and meet consumers’ expectations for convenience, food quality and more.

“Beverages are increasingly important to creating memorable foodservice experiences,” explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Brands are leveraging beverages to differentiate through signature drinks like mocktails, over-the-top options like extreme milkshakes and better-for-you options. But, demand for innovation continues to rise and it will be critical to take beverages to the next level while still meeting demand for familiar favorites.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

• 39% of consumers overall purchase four or more beverages per week from foodservice
• 23% of consumers say non-alcoholic beverage offerings are very important to them when deciding which restaurants to visit for a meal, up from 18% in 2016
• “100% fruit juice” is the beverage attribute that the greatest number of consumers are willing to pay extra for

Compiling findings from more than 1,450 consumer responses, as well as menu and industry data from the Ignite database, the comprehensive 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand how consumer usage and attitudes toward non-alcoholic beverages are evolving and to identify key areas of opportunity.

2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Report