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Consumers demand beverage choice

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Today’s consumers are accustomed to personalizing all of their meals—both at home and when dining away from home—and that extends to beverage selection as well.

Self-service beverage stations should accommodate this demand for choice, including presenting a variety of water options. Demand for water has continued to grow as more and more consumers shun sugary soft drinks. They are instead opting for chilled or sparkling water; hot water to make tea; and alkaline water, which has been growing in popularity because of its perceived health benefits. By offering consumers an array of beverage choices, foodservice facilities can ensure their customers remain satisfied with the selection and service.

Boosted interest in soft-drink alternatives

Consumer interest in sparkling water has been especially strong: Sales grew 54% in the four years through July 2018, according to a recent report from Nielsen.

Alkaline water has also rapidly gained traction in the U.S. in recent years. Although there is still a lack of proven scientific research surrounding alkaline water, it is typically sought out by consumers seeking its purported health benefits such as fast rehydration, replacement of minerals lost through exercise and preventing future illness, according to a report from Zenith Global. Global sales of alkaline water grew at a pace of about 18% per year from 2013 to 2017, according to Beverage Daily, citing data from Zenith Global.

Likewise, hot tea is also viewed as a healthy beverage of choice among consumers. In fact, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water; on any given day, more than half of the U.S. population drinks tea, according to the Tea Association of the USA. Approximately 4 in 5 consumers drink tea, according to the association, and millennials are the most likely age group to do so, with 87% of millennials reporting that they are tea drinkers.In 2018, Americans consumed more than 84 billion servings of tea.

Making beverage options a priority

Foodservice operators should consider making all of these choices available to their customers. The MODwater dispenser from Hoshizaki gives foodservice providers the ability to offer four varieties of water—chilled, sparkling, alkaline and hot—from a single compact device.

The machine, which offers the most variety for a dispenser of its size, includes patented technology for carbonation and is designed to sit atop many Hoshizaki ice machines. It features a sleek, stainless steel design with black polycarbonate trim and an LED control panel.

In addition to appealing to consumer demand for beverage choice, operators who use Hoshizaki’s MODwater system can then also offer an environmentally friendly option for consumers who want to avoid the use of plastic bottles. While bottled water has become enormously popular, several factors have led to a consumer pullback in recent years, including increased awareness about the pollution caused by single-use plastic waste.

In fact, some foodservice locations, as well as some public facilities, have stopped selling bottled water, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, and several municipalities have banned their sale altogether.

For operators seeking to offer consumers the variety of water choices they want, including chilled, hot, alkaline and sparkling—as well as an alternative to the use of plastic bottles—MODwater from Hoshizaki offers an attractive solution.

This post is sponsored by Hoshizaki

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