Choice is the driver for the future of dispensed beverages, whether demonstrated by the ability to customize a drink, consume it in a more earth-friendly fashion or stretch the dollar. The Technomic report found these options especially appealing to c-store foodservice beverage consumers:

  • Customization kiosks.
  • Eco-friendly or reusable beverage cups.
  • Resealable packaging for easier on-the-go consumption.
  • Straw elimination or reduction.
  • Value-driven offers and programs.

The key is to offer choice in a way that does not sacrifice speed, Moore Ruddy says.

“Be strategic on how a flavor customization experience can be implemented,” she says, pointing out that self-service kiosks can slow ordering times if they break down and staff isn’t trained to fix them. “Customization does not trump speedy service at c-stores.”

Promotional deals can address consumers’ interest in value—think combo meals or “Buy 10, get one free” offers. “These simple offerings go a long way,” Moore Ruddy says. “They’re valuable but not the most important thing. That is still speed of service.”