When launching a beverage at retail, companies can choose to take the traditional route or take a chance and travel the more innovative road. Many beverage companies travel both roads; however, which one do foodservice operators take? Lately, it seems there might be a trend toward taking the path toward innovation.

On Aug. 31, Taco Bell added a new drink to its FirstMeal breakfast menu. Unlike the coffees, juices and smoothies typically associated with breakfast, Mtn Dew A.M. is a combination of PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew soda and Tropicana orange juice.

Similarly, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers introduced an alcohol milkshake in early September. Available through Nov. 11, the Samuel Adams Octoberfest Milkshake is made with soft-serve ice cream, Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer, vanilla and caramel.

“Nothing says Oktoberfest better than a beer, so I incorporated the fun spirit of Red Robin into this innovative milkshake,” said Donna Ruch, master mixologist with Red Robin, in a statement. “Now, our guests don’t have to choose between a beer or a shake to go with their burger. They can have the very best of both in our new Octoberfest Milkshake.”

 In Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” poem, he wrote, ”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Considering these new soda-and-juice and beer-and-milkshake concoctions, I wonder whether traditional beverages will become “the road less traveled by” in the foodservice segment.