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A growing thirst for specialty drinks

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. coffee latte art mugs

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?

 TotalB&IC&USchoolsHospitalsNH/LTC/Sr. Living
Enhanced bottled water33.1%47.6%50.0%29,9%39.0%11.5%
Coffee (specialty)24.5%19.0%45.7%6.5%33.8%15.4%
Smoothies23.5%19.0%41.4%23.4%13.0%19.2%
Fruit juice22.0%4.8%14.3%35.1%15.6%26.9%
Plain bottled water18.9%28.6%12.9%32.5%18.2%9.0%
Tea15.2%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 drinks12.4%9.5%27.1%5.2%14.3%5.1%
Milk11.5%0.0%5.7%22.1%3.9%16.7%
Vegetable juice9.9%23.8%10.0%13.0%6.5%6.4%
Sports drinks9.6%4.8%12.9%11.7%14.3%1.3%
Carbonated soft drinks5.3%0.0%1.4%5.2%11.7%3.8%
Do not expect growth in any beverage category25.4%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?

 TotalB&IC&USchoolsHospitalsNH/LTC/Sr. Living
Increase44.2%80.0%52.1%43.8%55.8%16.7%
Decrease2.1%10.0%0.0%3.8%0.0%2.6%
Remain the same53.7%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?

 TotalB&IC&USchoolsHospitalsNH/LTC/Sr. Living
Salads/salad bar42.3%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/chili15.1%15.0%5.8%7.6%21.1%26.0%
Pizza/calzones15.1%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 entrees7.9%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 categories14.2%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?

 TotalB&IC&USchoolsHospitalsNH/LTC/Sr. Living
Increase25.3%0.0%36.8%60.0%26.5%10.7%
Decrease2.7%0.0%0.0%0.0%5.9%2.7%
Remain the same72.0%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?

 TotalB&IC&USchoolsHospitalsNH/LTC/Sr. Living
Salads/salad bar29.0%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/chili13.8%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 entrees10.1%33.3%14.3%10.0%10.4%5.4%
Pizza/calzones9.7%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 categories22.6%33.3%11.1%20.0%28.4%27.0%

 

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