A growing thirst for specialty drinks

Published in FSD Update

By 
Dana Moran, Managing Editor

coffee latte art mugs

When it comes to food, customers have wanted it their way for years. But that trend is spilling over into noncommercial beverage categories, according to FoodService Director’s January Menu Trends Survey. One-third of operators surveyed said they expected the most growth in enhanced bottled water sales (like flavored and vitamin-infused drinks) during the next two years, while one-quarter anticipated a big spike in specialty coffee sales.

College operators were most optimistic about these trends—50 percent and 46 percent foresaw growth in specialty water and coffee, respectively. Interestingly, these operators also foresaw more growth in tea (26 percent) than did operators overall (15 percent), while vegetable juice was big in B&I (24 percent growth vs. 10 percent growth overall) and regular coffee was hot at senior living (30 percent growth vs. 14 percent growth overall).

When it came to lunch, operators anticipated growth on the healthier side of the menu—or at least, menu items perceived as healthier. Salads/salad bars, sandwiches and vegetable-based entrees were top of mind, with more than 60 percent of B&I operators expecting salads to skyrocket. Breakfast-for-lunch may be an emerging trend among college diners, with 22 percent of operators expecting growth.

Salad also is looking large at dinner, ranking as the top choice for growth. Hospital operators especially were optimistic here; 40 percent foresaw growth. At colleges, more operators expected growth among fish dishes (38 percent) than they did pizza (11 percent) or burgers (10 percent), which again may indicate students are thinking about their waistlines.

In which three of the following beverage categories do you expect the most growth in the next 1-2 years?

  Total B&I C&U Schools Hospitals NH/LTC/Sr. Living
Enhanced bottled water 33.1% 47.6% 50.0% 29,9% 39.0% 11.5%
Coffee (specialty) 24.5% 19.0% 45.7% 6.5% 33.8% 15.4%
Smoothies 23.5% 19.0% 41.4% 23.4% 13.0% 19.2%
Fruit juice 22.0% 4.8% 14.3% 35.1% 15.6% 26.9%
Plain bottled water 18.9% 28.6% 12.9% 32.5% 18.2% 9.0%
Tea 15.2% 19.0% 25.7% 5.2% 13.0% 16.7%
Coffee (regular) 14.2% 19.0% 12.9% 1.3% 11.7% 29.5%
Energy drinks 12.4% 9.5% 27.1% 5.2% 14.3% 5.1%
Milk 11.5% 0.0% 5.7% 22.1% 3.9% 16.7%
Vegetable juice 9.9% 23.8% 10.0% 13.0% 6.5% 6.4%
Sports drinks 9.6% 4.8% 12.9% 11.7% 14.3% 1.3%
Carbonated soft drinks 5.3% 0.0% 1.4% 5.2% 11.7% 3.8%
Do not expect growth in any beverage category 25.4% 28.6% 8.6% 20.8% 31.2% 38.5%

In the next 2 years, do you expect your lunch daypart (participation/transactions) to increase, decrease, or remain the same?

  Total B&I C&U Schools Hospitals NH/LTC/Sr. Living
Increase 44.2% 80.0% 52.1% 43.8% 55.8% 16.7%
Decrease 2.1% 10.0% 0.0% 3.8% 0.0% 2.6%
Remain the same 53.7% 10.0% 47.9% 52.5% 44.2% 80.8%

In which three of the following center of the plate/main entree lunch categories do you expect the most growth in the next 1-2 years?

  Total B&I C&U Schools Hospitals NH/LTC/Sr. Living
Salads/salad bar 42.3% 60.0% 50.7% 36.7% 55.3% 21.9%
Cold/hot sandwiches/subs
(made to order/prepackaged)
33.1% 40.0% 37.7% 26.6% 42.1% 24.7%
Vegetable/bean-based hot entrees
(e.g. burritos, stir-fry)
28.7% 30.0% 50.7% 25.3% 23.7% 16.4%
Chicken-based hot entrees
(e.g. fried chicken, wings, grilled chicken, tacos)
24.9% 35.0% 20.3% 31.6% 23.7% 20.5%
Fish-based entrees
(e.g. friend, baked, grilled, sushi)
18.0% 30.0% 21.7% 7.6% 25.0% 15.1%
Burgers
(e.g. hamburgers/turkey burgers/veggie burgers)
17.0% 30.0% 15.9% 15.2% 17.1% 16.4%
Soup/chili 15.1% 15.0% 5.8% 7.6% 21.1% 26.0%
Pizza/calzones 15.1% 5.0% 11.6% 30.4% 10.5% 9.6%
Breakfast entrees served at lunch
(e.g. omelets, pancakes)
13.9% 10.0% 21.7% 15.2% 7.9% 12.3%
Pasta/rice entrees 7.9% 0.0% 11.6% 8.9% 7.9% 5.5%
Beef-based hot entrees
(e.g. meatloaf, steak, tacos)
7.6% 5.0% 0.0% 11.4% 7.9% 11.0%
Turkey-based hot entrees 
(e.g. roasted, cutlets)
5.4% 10.0% 8.7% 2.5% 3.9% 5.5%
Pork-based hot entrees (e.g. tenderloin, sliced, baked) 4.4% 0.0% 7.2% 1.3% 2.6% 8.2%
Do not expect growth in any of these lunch categories 14.2% 10.0% 2.9% 16.5% 10.5% 27.4%

In the next 2 years, do you expect your dinner daypart (participation/transactions) to increase, decrease, or remain the same?

  Total B&I C&U Schools Hospitals NH/LTC/Sr. Living
Increase 25.3% 0.0% 36.8% 60.0% 26.5% 10.7%
Decrease 2.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9% 2.7%
Remain the same 72.0% 100.0% 63.2% 40.0% 67.6% 86.7%

In which three  of the following center of the plate/main entree dinner categories do you expect the most growth in the next 1-2 years?

  Total B&I C&U Schools Hospitals NH/LTC/Sr. Living
Salads/salad bar 29.0% 33.3% 23.8% 30.0% 40.3% 23.0%
Chicken-based hot entrees
(e.g. fried chicken, wings, grilled chicken, tacos)
26.7% 33.3% 44.4% 20.0% 16.4% 21.6%
Vegetable/bean-based hot entrees
(e.g. burritos, stir-fry)
22.6% 0.0% 41.3% 20.0% 16.4% 13.5%
Fish-based entrees
(e.g. fried, baked, grilled, sushi)
22.1% 33.3% 38.1% 0.0% 16.4% 16.2%
Cold/hot sandwiches/subs
(made to order/prepackaged)
20.3% 33.3% 7.9% 40.0% 31.3% 17.6%
Burgers
(e.g. hamburgers/turkey burgers/veggie burgers)
14.7% 0.0% 9.5% 10.0% 19.4% 16.2%
Soup/chili 13.8% 0.0% 3.2% 0.0% 11.9% 27.0%
Beef-based hot entrees
(e.g. meatloaf, steak, tacos)
12.9% 0.0% 9.5% 20.0% 11.9% 16.2%
Breakfast entrees served at dinner
(e.g. omelets, pancakes)
11.5% 0.0% 22.2% 10.0% 3.0% 10.8%
Pork-based hot entrees
(e.g. tenderloin, sliced, baked)
11.1% 0.0% 17.5% 10.0% 3.0% 13.5%
Pasta/rice entrees 10.1% 33.3% 14.3% 10.0% 10.4% 5.4%
Pizza/calzones 9.7% 0.0% 11.1% 10.0% 7.5% 10.8%
Turkey-based hot entrees
(e.g. roasted, cutlets)
8.3% 0.0% 11.1% 0.0% 6.0% 9.5%
Do not expect growth in any of these dinner categories 22.6% 33.3% 11.1% 20.0% 28.4% 27.0%

 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Cathy Desquesses as its chief people officer, the company announced on Friday.

Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

Photo courtesy of Sodexo

Managing Your Business
woman in the kitchen alone

The #MeToo movement has turned sexual harassment into the top labor-related regulatory issue for all employers, triggering action from three out of four companies, according to a new survey on workforce concerns.

About two-thirds (66%) of employers rank the issue among their top two employment-related legal worries, even without a change in the pertinent laws and regulations, the canvass found.

What has changed, concluded surveyor Littler Mendelson, one of the nation’s largest labor-focused legal firms, are employee expectations and the social climate.

“No company...

Managing Your Business
Starbucks college campus

Noncommercial dining centers are often filled with their own Starbucks, Burger Kings, Panera Breads and dozens of other nationally recognized brands. Branded concepts, whether corporate brands or self-operated, offer diners familiar names, menu items, and a sense of place. This translates into more money spent and more diner loyalty for foodservice operators.

However, the success of branded concepts vary greatly. There can be significantly different results depending on whether noncommercial operators decide to franchise, lease or develop their own branded concepts. There’s no one-...

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code