Beverages have the capacity to break down barriers surrounding conventional mealtime standards.
While snacking is no new phenomenon to the American way of life, trends in snacking culture shift regularly, and drinkable snack popularity is on the rise. While many celebrate the Starbucks Frappuccino blended coffee beverage’s 20th birthday this year, others are opting for healthier, cleaner, selections like cold-pressed juices—a $100 million per year industry that shows no sign of declining popularity.
Recent reports from The Hartman Group say consumers prioritize healthfulness and portability in their snack choices. Here are a few tips on marketing your restaurant’s beverages as best options for the snacking daypart.
Timing is Everything
Increasingly, Americans experience time poverty: the perception that too few hours exist in the day to both complete all of our work and enjoy significant free time. The phenomenon creates a situation where consumers no longer adhere to three square meals, says Rachel Kalt, senior strategist at restaurant consulting firm The Culinary Edge.
“That decrease [in time] has really contextualized the way that we evaluate meals in our life,” Kalt says. Instead of sitting down for a leisurely afternoon scone or morning pastry, Americans now reach for grab-and-go options, like smoothies, blended coffee beverages, and juice.
“Convenience and time are important factors to consumers who lead busy lifestyles with heavy workloads and long working hours,” says Carol DeNembo, vice president of business development for Juice It Up! raw juice bar. DeNembo attributes these factors to increased demand during snacking dayparts for the franchise’s healthier options, including super fruit smoothies and fruit and veggie fusion drinks.
Offering these types of portable, convenient beverage options allows consumers to snack and work simultaneously, minimizing both hunger and time starvation.
Health is Wealth
The Hartman Group’s “Health & Wellness 2015” report reveals that consumers seek out healthy beverages that are good for the heart, locally sourced, and minimally processed.
“Juice has a freshness aspect that feels a lot better than, ‘I’m going to walk over to the vending machine and make a meal from Pop-Tarts and Goldfish crackers,” Kalt says.
Juice It Up! notices spikes in healthy beverage cravings during both the morning and afternoon snacking dayparts.
“We see the highest demand by the after-school crowd,” DeNembo says. A refreshing fruit smoothie has the ability to satisfy that after-lunch sweet tooth without the guilt of stereotypical junk food. She also sees morning gym goers seeking these healthy mid-morning snack options as post-workout breakfast replacements or as fuel to replenish, recharge, and sustain them until lunchtime.
If the trend aligns with your business, Kalt says, then the investment might be worth it. Restaurants can gain those healthy and versatile credits by offering a juice, smoothie, or lemonade program, rather than clinging to artificially flavored fountain beverages of yesteryear.