In 2015, commercial foodservice traffic was flat, meaning there was no growth in the number of customers eating at foodservice. Furthermore, consumer beverage growth in commercial foodservice was also flat when compared to one year ago. For those in the beverage business, the realities of a challenged marketplace had a strong effect on the bottom line in 2015.
When it comes to beverages, not all categories are driving growth
Only half of the top 10 beverage categories saw growth in servings in 2015: tap water (+2.5 per cent), bottled water (+8.6 per cent), juice (+2.6 per cent), iced/frozen/slush coffee (+11.8 per cent), and milk (2.1 per cent).
Over all, the top 10 beverages performed as follows in 2015:
- Coffee (-0.4 per cent) Menu importance: 32 per cent
- Carbonated soft drinks (-2.0 per cent) Menu importance: 17 per cent
- Tap water (+2.5 per cent) Menu importance: 6 per cent
- Hot Tea (-10.8 per cent) Menu importance: 6 per cent
- Alcohol (-5.4 per cent) Menu importance: 5 per cent
- Juice (+2.6 per cent) Menu importance: 5 per cent
- Bottled Water (+8.6 per cent) Menu importance: 5 per cent
- Iced/frozen/slush coffee (+11.8 per cent) Menu importance: 4 per cent
- Milk (+2.1 per cent) Menu importance: 3 per cent
- Iced Tea (-4.2 per cent) Menu importance: 3 per cent
*Numbers in brackets represent PCYA (Percentage Change vs. Year Ago)
“The data suggests that traditional beverage consumption patterns are changing,” said Robert Carter, Executive Director of Foodservice at The NPD Group. “In order to adapt, operators and restaurant owners need to focus on beverage innovation, such as implementing beverage menus that include new options and flavour profiles. Furthermore, extending the offering of traditional beverages by creating new and exciting options such as smoothies, ice cream floats and frozen hot chocolates will entice today’s consumer.”
Innovation is especially important when it comes to the categories that rank highest in menu importance, as it is these categories that are generally declining in consumption the quickest. The poorest performing beverages have been hot tea (-10.8 per cent), alcohol (-5.4 per cent), and sparkling/carbonated soft drinks (-2.0 per cent).