Beverage snapshot

Milk is current highest, bottled water and smoothies are on the rise.

Milk does a body good, and it also helps operators’ bottom line. Milk, at 18%, makes up the highest sales percentage of beverages for non-commercial operators, according to The Big Picture research. Milk’s sales were buoyed in large part by school and LTC/senior living locations. When it comes to beverage sales’ potential in the next two years, bottled water and smoothies rise to the top. Tea and energy drinks are seen as a growth area for contract management companies, B&I and colleges, while schools and healthcare say fruit juice shows growth potential. LTC/senior living operators, at 39%, were the most likely to say they expect no growth in any beverage category.

Hospitals and LTC/senior living

Operators in hospitals and senior living locations are fans of fruit juice’s potential, with 12% and 22% respectively saying they expect growth in that category. Health concerns and increased variety are two of the reasons healthcare operators are citing for this growth. However, 39% of LTC/senior living operators say they do not expect growth in any beverage category. Rich Tallis, assistant director for Sodexo at Orchard Manor, in Grove City, Pa., says he thinks that may be because LTC/senior living facilities are starting to offer pitchers of water at meals more frequently.  

Contract/B&I

Smoothies and tea are areas of beverage growth for the contract/B&I market segments. Contract management headquarters—60%—expect smoothies to see significantly more sales in the next two years than other market segments do. Tea is also expected to grow, with 42% of contract companies/B&I operators citing this category for increased sales. Health is the motivating factor behind the predicted growth in both beverage categories. Gary Coutre, Sodexo’s general manager at Siemens in Buffalo Grove, Ill., says he believes the wide variety of tea flavors, along with its health factor, has contributed to the beverage’s growth.

C&U

College operators think their customers want a jolt, with 35% of operators reporting that energy drinks will grow and 33% saying specialty coffee will. Tea is also predicted to be a growing category because of its health benefits; 20% of university operators plan to see tea sales grow. Edward Krol, executive chef, Youngstown State University in Ohio, says increased customer awareness, along with the perceived health benefits of tea versus carbonated beverages, is resulting in interest from students.

Schools

It’s no surprise that milk is schools’ No. 1 beverage growth category, at 45%. Child nutrition operators also named fruit juice and bottled water as growth categories, with 37% of operators each pegging those beverages. A Michigan-based contract school operator, who asked not to be named, says he believes the growth will happen in those areas due to the changes in the National School Lunch Program. “With the emphasis on [healthier options], along with stricter guidelines on what can be offered on à la carte lines, it’s logical that [operators] will follow those trends to make more options available that still meet the new requirements,” he says.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

Managing Your Business
shaking hands graphic

Anyone who has moseyed down the self-help section of the local bookstore, probably has picked up on the mantra that positive relationships are built on trust. Employer-employee bonds are no different, according to research published in the January-February issue of Harvard Business Review. The study reports that employees at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days and 76% more engagement. Here’s how operators can start putting those numbers on the board.

Putting in the effort

At the University of...

Ideas and Innovation
ticket stubs

Every week, our cooks pick an experimental kitchen project to expand their skills, culminating in a Friday contest where they cook a new dish that puts them out of their comfort zone. The winner of the weekly contest is awarded points and prizes. The cook with the most points at the end of the year receives a free ticket to an annual team gathering in Maine, where staffers bond and gain inspiration from coastal menus.

Managing Your Business
performance review anxiety

For all the most obvious reasons, managers and staff don’t always agree. But both sides can get behind retiring annual performance reviews, according to a January survey from software company Adobe, which quit the practice in 2012. There, 64% of surveyed workers and 62% of supervisors consider yearly evaluations outdated.

“My philosophy is if I have to wait a year to tell you where you stand, it’s a little too late,” says Al Ferrone, senior director of dining services at the University of California at Los Angeles. Ferrone and other operators are reforming the meetings to add real...

FSD Resources