Waitstaff suggestions can encourage diners to try new beverages, according to a new report from foodservice consultant Technomic.
Nearly one quarter of consumers (23 percent) say they would consider trying a beverage they had not tried before, if their waiter recommended it. Servers were most influential among heavy beverage users, a third of whom (30 percent) said a suggestion would impact their beverage purchase.
“This likely indicates that these consumers are more open to trying new beverages overall and suggests that operators may be able to use server recommendations to market new, limited-time offers or seasonal beverages toward this group,” said Darren Tristano, Technomic EVP. “This likely indicates that these consumers are more open to trying new beverages overall and suggests that operators may be able to use server recommendations to market new, limited-time offers or seasonal beverages toward this group.”
The findings are part of the new Beverage Consumer Trend Report, developed to help restaurant operators and manufacturers stay on top of current trends and evolving consumer needs for non-alcoholic beverages. The report examines more than two dozen beverage types including soft drinks; coffee beverages; bottled water; sports, energy and fusion drinks; lemonade; tea; and smoothies.
Among the findings:
- Almost nine out of 10 consumers (86 percent) purchased a beverage away from home in the last month. Of those, 24 percent purchase a beverage away from home on a daily basis.
- On average, consumers drink about seven types of beverages per month, and purchase an average of three varieties away from home.
- Although two out of five consumers are interested in premium (43 percent) and healthy (42 percent) beverage options, consumers report taste (76 percent) and quality (73 percent) trump other factors in importance in the purchase decision.
- The number of consumers making beverage-only purchases at fast-food restaurants is increasing. About a third of consumers (36 percent) say they have visited a fast-food establishment in the last month and bought only a beverage, up from 24 percent in 2008.
- Convenience stores are an important channel for beverages. Two out of five convenience store customers (42 percent) say they have made four or more beverage-only purchases there in the last month.
- Tea is growing in prevalence as a beverage option on restaurant menus.
The Beverage Consumer Trend Report contains menu, consumer and competitive insights that will help industry professionals understand current and emerging menu trends and consumer consumption behavior, purchasing decisions, attitudes and preferences for beverages.
Findings are based on an online survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers conducted in June 2010.
To learn more about this report, visit www.technomic.com.
Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.