Chicago-based Technomic has released the beverage category sizing report exploring how COVID-19 impacted foodservice beverages. This report is a deliverable of the Away-From-Home Beverage Navigator program, which offers a comprehensive assessment of both hot and cold beverage categories, including market sizing, historical tracking, predicted growth, consumer insights, operator responses, major trends and market dynamics.

"While the beverage category took a hit due to the pandemic, it remains a critical piece of revenue and profitability for foodservice operators. Going forward, operators will need to focus on keeping up with changing dynamics and planning for the industry's recovery," explained David Henkes, senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Technomic, in a statement. "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."

Key findings:

  • Overall beverage sales were down 31% on a volume basis and 29% in consumer spending
  • 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 that 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