Technomic released its Beverage Global Menu Category Report, which explores foodservice category sizing by country, outlook and expectations, consumer patronage and preferences, menu trends, global and local chains, and brands to watch.

“Beverages are undoubtedly one of the hottest menu categories on the global restaurant stage. Growth among specialist chains is robust and outperforming other key menu categories,” said Aaron Jourden, director of international research and insights at Technomic, in statement. “But competition is heating up among global players and local brands alike, with hotspots for coffee and tea chains, especially in China, South Korea and Southeast Asia. Chains to watch include Heytea, Cotti Coffee, Luckin Coffee, Mixue-backed Lucky Coffee, Kopi Kenangan and Compose Coffee.”

Also explored in the report, a niche category to watch in the coming years are new types of drinkable yogurts that tap into the healthy indulgence trend. Aside from beverage specialists, many global quick-service brands also are developing significant coffee and specialty beverage platforms, sub-brands and spinoffs, including McDonald’s new CosMc’s in the United States and KFC’s burgeoning KCOFFEE concept in China.

The following are key study findings:

  • Total sales for leading global coffee cafe chains are up 16.5% over pre-pandemic performance
  • Global LSR coffee cafe and tea cafe chains significantly outpaced other menu categories in sales growth in 2022
  • China-based Luckin Coffee is now the world’s third-largest coffee chain by location count
  • About a third of consumers globally order a drink as a snack between mealtimes from restaurants and foodservice providers
  • Beverage chains are developing new drive-thru formats and to-go-focused prototypes as they concentrate on growing their off-premise consumption channels
  • Chains are featuring avocado and yogurt in beverages to satisfy demand for healthy indulgence

The report is delivered as part of Technomic’s Global Foodservice Navigator Program, which provides ongoing reports, tools and insights to keep members at the forefront of evolving foodservice trends on country and global levels.