Standard Hot Coffee & Tea Still Rule In Restaurants.

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While specialty coffees are hot (so to speak), regular hot coffee and tea still account for more reported out-of-home consumption among consumers in both restaurant/foodservice and retail settings, according to a recent survey conducted by the foodservice industry.

Sixty percent of consumers reported drinking regular hot coffee or tea within the last month — second only to the 62% who reported drinking a non-diet carbonated soft drink in the same period.

In addition, 14% of consumers say they are buying more single servings of regular hot coffee today than they did two years ago, and 10% say the same about single servings of iced tea.

Consumption continues to grow despite higher prices. Except for frozen/blended coffee drinks, all other types of coffee and tea drinks have seen steady price increases since 2008. Average prices for servings of regular coffee and tea/iced were $2.25 and $2.40, respectively, in 2008, versus $2.36 and $2.57 two years later.

When all types of coffee and tea (hot and iced varieties and specialty coffees) are included, they also dominate non-alcoholic beverage choices on restaurant menus. Coffees and teas each account for nearly 21% of non-alcoholic menu choices offered, whereas soft drinks, the next-largest category, account for just 13.6%.

Nearly three out of four consumers (73%) now say that green tea appeals to them as a hot or iced tea flavor, and 60% and 61%, respectively, say that lemon and honey appeal to them. Not surprising, that data shows the number of green tea products on menus having increased significantly in recent years.

Consumers are also buying more single servings of coffee in retail stores. Overall, such coffee sales in grocery stores, drugstores and mass merchants saw a nominal 15.9% increase between 2007 and 2010.

Each retail format saw gains, but mass merchants saw the largest increase: 53.1%, to $318 million, versus $208 million in 2007. This increase is attributed to mass merchants’ expansion of on-site consumption food/beverage offerings, as well as to coffee price increases.

Source:  MediaPost News, Aug 18, 2011.

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