Summer is in full swing, and one of the simple pleasures of the season is enjoying an ice-cold beverage.
Indeed, now is the time for restaurant operators to provide their customers with a drink that’s worth their time and money. So, this summer operators should bank on interest in limited-time offers, which denote a sense of urgency — a need for customers to try a product before it’s gone.
According to CREST data, consumers are finding iced/frozen/slushy coffee, frozen/slushy soft drinks and smoothies increasingly appealing. Iced tea is also gaining steam. In fact, there’s a perfect storm brewing for tea. Consider the facts: demand for global flavours, especially Asian, is growing; interest in health and wellness is booming; tea has a high profit margin at a time when food costs are skyrocketing; and adoption of tea by Americans is surging forward. In fact, according to the U.S. Tea Association, the tea market has grown from $1.8 billion to $10.4 billion in just over 20 years. Canadians are not increasing their consumption of iced tea at restaurants, but that could be because specialty tea variations are not prevalent on restaurant menus.
While cold summer offerings comprise a relatively small share of the Canadian beverage market, opportunity exists to capitalize on consumer interest in these products, especially during the summer.
The following are a few ideas to entice more purchases of cold beverages:
- Offer signature beverages.
- Customize cold beverages. Provide new and different toppings, spices, syrups and flavours to enhance the experience.
- Small is the new big, so offer pint-sized portions. For example, a mini portion of a milkshake will keep the calorie count down for health-conscious customers. This will also create a sense of value, since the price will be in line with the portion size.
As consumers continue to expect more variety, Canadian restaurant operators need to focus on introducing new and different cold-beverage options. It’s a win-win for the consumer and operator.
Written By: Robert Carter
Volume 48, Number 5