Pandemic Hammered Beverage Sales, Technomic Study Shows

Volume dropped 31%, spending 29%
Soda fountain
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO  Overall beverage sales fell 31% on a volume basis, and 29% in consumer spending, during the pandemic, according to Technomic’s recently released beverage category sizing report that explores how COVID-19 impacted foodservice beverages.

The report, part of the Away-From-Home Beverage Navigator program, offers a comprehensive assessment of hot and cold beverage categories, including market sizing, historical tracking, predicted growth, consumer insights, operator responses, major trends and market dynamics.

Other key Technomic findings:

  • Cold-dispensed beverage volume was down 30%, while hot beverages were down 34% in volume in 2020.
  • 35% of operators reduced the number of beverages they were offering due to COVID-19.
  • 52% of consumers who ordered food from foodservice without a beverage say they did so because they already had a beverage at home, up from 47% who said the same in 2019.

“While the beverage category took a hit due to the pandemic, it remains a critical piece of revenue and profitability for foodservice operators,” said David Henkes, senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Chicago-based Technomic, a sister company of CSP. “Going forward, operators will need to focus on keeping up with changing dynamics and planning for the industry’s recovery. From focused daypart strategies to re-establishing themselves into consumers’ post-pandemic routines, operators will need to understand changing consumer habits in order to guide foodservice beverage strategies.” 

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