Home » Research Finds Taste Shift And Cost Result In Restaurant Beverage Order Decline

Research Finds Taste Shift And Cost Result In Restaurant Beverage Order Decline


Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:14 pm

Although consumers order a beverage 70 percent of the time when visiting restaurants and other food service outlets, beverage orders have declined 4 percent, or two billion servings, over a five-year period.

Consumers changing tastes and cost consciousness are behind declines, finds a new NPD food service market research report. There are more growing beverages at restaurants in the last five years than declining, but the declining beverages, like carbonated soft drinks, are larger in servings volume.
Iced/frozen coffee, specialty coffee, tap water and bottled water top the list of growing beverages. Diet and regular carbonated soft drinks, milk and brewed coffee have lost the most servings of the declining beverages.

The growing beverages, like iced and specialty coffee, get a boost from the fact that consumers “love” these beverages and will make a special visit to get them. These beverages also are more likely to be ordered for a snack. Also behind growing beverages, like tap water, is cost consciousness; consumers will forego a purchased beverage and opt for tap water instead, or visit another location in order to get a lower-priced beverage.

Declining beverages, like carbonated soft drinks and milk, which account for nearly 50 percent of all beverages ordered at food service, have lost four billion servings since 2010. Though declining beverages are down overall, they are purchased with the most frequency of all beverage categories—about two-thirds of these beverages are purchased at most or every food service visit. These beverages are typically ordered at dinner or lunch.

“Despite recent declines in beverage servings, the fact is that beverages are still an important part of food service visits—whether by themselves or as part of a meal,” said Warren Solochek, president of NPD’s food service practice. “In order to drive beverage orders, food service operators will need to understand consumers’ changing tastes and offer an array of quality beverage choices, including healthy options.”

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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