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Quenching summer thirst

Year round, hot coffee is the most frequently purchased beverage in foodservice operations; 49% of consumers buy it regularly, according to a survey by American Express MarketBriefing. But as the weather gets hotter, the sale of cold beverages also heats up.

  • The purchase of carbonated soft drinks—both diet and regular—spikes in summer;  97% and 94% of consumers respectively report ordering them. But growth in this category has been flat for some time
  • 99% of summertime consumers choose to buy iced tea at restaurants
  • 73% of iced tea drinkers choose sweetened iced black tea, or "sweet tea," while 65% opt for unsweetened iced tea. Iced green tea, herbal tea and chai come in at 61%, 57% and 42% respectively
  • Interest in flavored iced teas is growing, with fruity flavors leading the charge. Berry, peach and mango are the favorites
  • Fruit juice--once seen as a specialty or breakfast beverage--has emerged as one of the biggest menu trends. Almost 25% of consumers say they're purchasing more fresh juice now than they were a year ago and more than one-third of those who've stepped up their juice orders say they're enjoying new flavors and blends

While consumption of fresh juices in restaurants is up significantly, there is plenty of room for this beverage category to grow further, reports MarketBriefing. There is a vast variety of juices, blends and additions that can be offered to differentiate a concept.

American Express MarketBriefing produced by Technomic; June, 2012