The power of pairing snacks and beverages

When snacks and beverages ring up together at the register, good things happen—transactions grow, the bottom line increases and customers come back. The power of pairing snacks and beverages

Many of today’s popular snacks and beverages share two important characteristics: They’re extremely profitable, and they’re easy to sell—if you follow a few simple principles. Here are some strategies for promoting snacks and beverages together.

Feature the classics

Combinations such as cookies and milk, donuts and coffee, and chips and soft drinks are beloved by millions of snackers, and convenience is the key to selling more. Set up a handy display rack of packaged cookies, chips and crackers in proximity to a cold beverage merchandiser with bottled and canned beverages and a self-serve coffee station. Cookies are the real crowd pleasers in this category; in fact, nearly 80 percent of U.S. adults say they eat cookies, and shelf-stable cookies accounted for 60 percent of total sales in the packaged sweet baked snacks and dessert segment in 2012, according to the research firm Packaged Facts.1

Bet on brands

Most consumers consider brand names when deciding on snack and beverage purchases. Seeing brands often triggers an impulse buy. Consumers on the go have little time or appetite for unfamiliar labels or generic brands at point of purchase. Try building food and beverage pairings with the established brand equity of top-selling snacks and beverages that consumers recognize and trust.

Showcase trendy sips

Chicago research firm Technomic recently reported that specialty teas, lemonade and iced-tea blends, housemade sodas and smoothies made with unusual non-fruit ingredients, such as kale or peanut butter, are increasing in menu incidence.2

Also, in some cases, beverages can be menued as snacks themselves (think snack-size shakes or smoothies). To raise the crave appeal of a blended beverage to new heights, mix in cookie pieces and offer a single-serve package of cookies on the side.

In the same way, focusing on the gourmet coffee trend can be a way to capitalize on the business-boosting power of snacks with beverages, since premium coffee and signature coffee-based beverages pair naturally with a variety of snacks such as breakfast biscuits, cookies and crackers. Additionally, coffee can span all dayparts and provide a revenue lift any time of day.

Turn up the volume

Encourage larger snack and beverage transactions by making it easy for customers to carry out bigger orders. Again, convenience is key. Have suitable packaging on hand so that guests can take sandwiches, single-serve packages of cookies, crackers and breakfast biscuits and bottled iced teas home or back to the office. For the really big orders, carriers for hot and cold beverage cups and bulk coffee to-go boxes come in handy as well.

Think limited

Customers are always hunting for what’s new. Limited-time pairings of snacks and beverages are often the answer. Feature a seasonal spin with pumpkin spice smoothies and bagels in fall. During the holidays, cranberry muffins and hot spiced cider or flavored tea is a winning match. In warm weather, strawberry lemonade or mango iced tea with cookies or snack crackers will be a refreshing treat.

For maximum effect, promote specialty or seasonal offerings with signage such as posters or counter cards so that guests are aware of LTO items. These types of merchandising efforts can also promote snack and beverage bundles or combo offers and drive additional sales.

For the latest snacking trends and industry information, click here.

1 Packaged Facts, Packaged Sweet Baked Snacks and Desserts: U.S. Market Trends, 2014
2 Technomic, At Midyear, Technomic Sees Six Trends Emerging, 2014

This post is sponsored by Mondelēz International Foodservice


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