Coffee and tea drinks are trending on US menus for some interesting reasons.

First, you could say that it’s all about health.  Across the board, health claims offered by coffee and tea drinks are on the rise. Consumers are looking for drinks that will give them a boost of energy in a natural and healthy way as possible. Additional benefits like immune-boosting and digestion aids are icing on the cake.

Then again, indulgence also is striking a chord. Both in format and flavor consumers want to know that when they spend the time, energy and money to get a coffee or tea drink away from home, it will be something they could not or would not have made themselves. By using indulgent flavors and formats, operators can draw consumers out of home for coffee and tea.

White chocolate (+151%), caramel (+60%) and chocolate (+59%) flavors are up in menu mentions for coffee drinks, and “sweet” mentions are up 52% in the same time period for tea drinks.


Convenience takes command

Convenience stores and operators with drive-thrus and walk-up windows have found particular success during the pandemic, as other operators scrambled to adjust to new rules and regulations. Operators must pivot toward convenience and safety to survive the pandemic.

Premium claims are up 17% for coffee and 80% for tea ingredients during Q2 2017-20. With every trip out of the house, many consumers are taking into consideration the risk/reward ratio of that trip. Operators that offer premium coffee and tea drinks, which consumers cannot make easily at home, at an affordable price will entice consumers out of their homes.


Consumers relaxing with coffee and tea

Decaffeinated claims for coffee rose 95% in Q2 2017-Q2 2020 and caffeine-free claims for tea rose 222% in the same time period. Some 17% of consumers are also interested in CBD coffee drinks. Coffee and tea providing relaxation and comfort was a trend already well on its way in 2019; however, with the daily stress of a global pandemic, consumers are more inclined toward easy moments of relaxation and comfort than ever before.