Winning Over Beverage Purchases From Restaurants

New data shows the advantage of c-store variety in the cold vault
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO — One of restaurants' shortcomings may be an opportunity for convenience retailers who make their variety of beverage options known to customers.

A new Technomic survey shows 40% of consumers will not purchase any beverage or will leave a restaurant if their preferred beverage is not available, opening the door for c-stores to fill that purchase gap.

The insight is just one data point in research firm Technomic's recently released 2019 Away-From-Home Beverage Study, which covers how consumer demands and business conditions have shifted within the past few years.

“Beverage growth has outpaced that of foodservice within the past few years thanks to innovative options such as nitro coffee, plant-based milks and other alternative beverages entering this space,” said David Henkes, principal with Technomic. “Although challenges like third-party delivery are encroaching on [restaurant] beverage occasions, the category has a lot of opportunities available through offering a wide variety of innovative beverage options to their guests.”

The 2019 Away-From-Home Beverage Study is part of Technomic’s Away-From-Home Beverage Navigator Program.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • 40% of consumers will not purchase any beverage or will leave an operation if their preferred beverage is not available.
  • Overall, away-from-home beverages grew about 4.1% over the past few years, slightly ahead of foodservice growth.
  • 59% of total beverage sales are coming from just three segments: quick-service restaurants, coffee cafes and full-service restaurants.

The 2019 Away-from-Home Beverage Study serves as a guide for food and beverage professionals to measure the size of the industry and category, understand path to purchase, uncover unmet needs and develop and grow beverage strategies. Research components of this report include consumer and operator surveys; qualitative research with 40 foodservice operators; and interviews with major chains, distributors and beverage suppliers.

Technomic Inc., a sister company of CSP, is a data and management consulting firm based in Chicago.

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