Younger consumers drive specialty beverage purchases
Pairing suggestions influence Generation Z, millennials
It’s October, which is by far the best sports month of the year in my opinion. Baseball playoffs are in full swing, the weekends are packed with collegiate and professional football games, and basketball and hockey start off their seasons. If you are like my husband and I, getting family and friends together for sporting events is a common weekend activity. Although we enjoy having people at our home or going to their homes, once in a while, it is nice to watch games at restaurant or sports bar among so many other sports fans.
Because having a one-year-old toddler inhibits the frequency of my trips out, I always like to try something new — whether it be food or beverages — when I have the opportunity. It seems as though I am not the only one from my generation demographic who has an inclination to opt for the non-traditional.
According to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report, consumers purchase non-alcohol beverages away from home at an average rate of three and a half times a week. Younger consumers are the ones driving these away-from-home beverage orders and are more adventurous than previous generations, it found.
“The menu or product mix is increasingly important for beverages. While older consumers tend to stick to familiar favorites like hot coffee and regular soda, younger consumers are seeking more specialty, handcrafted beverages and they’re willing to pay more for them,” said Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic Inc., in a statement. “Offering [limited-time-offer] specialty beverages, like ginger chai tea lattes or handcrafted wildberry hibiscus iced tea, alongside familiar favorites can help grow sales and broaden appeal across generations.”
When it comes to younger demographics, the market research firm’s report found that 33 percent of Generation Z and 32 percent of millennial consumers indicated pairing suggestions for specific dishes and non-alcohol beverages would encourage their trial. Additionally, younger consumers also are more likely to order beverages based on specific cravings.
However, consumers aged 35 and older are more likely to order beverages out of habit at restaurants, it found.
Fall, seasonal beverages might be popular for cocktails and beer brands, but it seems as though non-alcohol specialty beverages also will be key for foodservice operators to appeal to younger consumers.