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Study: Seasonal beverages boost customer loyalty

starbucks pumpkin spice latte

Seasonal beverages can have a positive effect on customers’ loyalty as well as their check averages, according to market researcher NPD Group, noting that such LTOs encourage customers to return and spur them to make incremental purchases.

Taking a look at the purchasing behavior of pumpkin-spice latte buyers, NPD Group found that 20 percent of those customers bought the seasonal item twice, and around 8 percent purchased it three times during the offer period.

In addition, those customers are likely to up their check averages by adding food to beverage purchases, NPD Group data suggests. During fall and winter 2014, the average check for pumpkin latte purchasers was $7.81, compared to $6.67 among non-purchasers. The difference in average check was even more distinct when looking at customers purchasing a seasonal white mocha: $8.37 compared to $6.84.

Seasonal beverages can also bring in new customers and boost business during slow periods, NPD Group said.

“Considering the battle for traffic share in the restaurant industry, it’s critical to offer unique, craveable menu items that attract both new customers and keep current ones coming back,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “For the restaurant operator, seasonal beverages have a positive impact on visit frequency and check averages as consumers tend to purchase food along with the seasonal beverage. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

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