Sonic launches 6 beverages to quench America's thirst for innovation

The drive-in chain is a longtime beverage destination, but the category has gotten increasingly competitive with new players and expanded drink selections on menus.
Sonic's line of innovative Flavorista Favorites aims to capture a bigger piece of the specialty beverage market. | Photo courtesy of Sonic.

Sonic announced the launch of Flavorista Favorites, a menu of six curated signature drinks with a focus on customization.

The lineup, which will debut Friday at X Games Ventura 2024 and be exclusive to Sonic app customers starting July 1, includes lemonades, slushies and classic soft drinks with a twist.

The Classic Cruiser, for example, combines cola with a hint of cherry vanilla, while the Twisted Flamingo features lemon-lime soda flavored with cherry vanilla and sweet cream.

Paradise Sunset is a bubbly drink with a burst of blood orange and real strawberries and Rainbow Slush pairs blue raspberry, strawberries and lemonade in an icy refresher. Rounding out the menu is the Lemonade Cream Cooler (lemonade slush blended with soft serve) and Grape Escape, a mix of grape and lime.

Several of the beverages fit into the “dirty soda” trend popularized by Swig, a fast-growing drinks-only concept, where drinks are “dirtied” with flavor shots, cream and candies.

But Swig is far from the only brand that is quenching consumers’ thirsts with innovative drinks. Coffee chains including Dutch Bros, Caribou and even Starbucks are focusing on cold beverages and “refreshers,” with up-and-comers like 7 Brew Drive-Thru Coffee growing sales 267% year-over-year according to Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

Sonic has long been a destination for innovative drinks, but it’s evident that the beverage category has gotten a lot more competitive lately. Even fellow QSR players McDonald’s and Taco Bell have more skin in the game, all vying for a bigger piece of the $100 billion specialty beverage market.

“As the trailblazers of drink customization, our new app-exclusive lineup, Flavorista Favorites, offers something special for every taste – whether it’s sweet, tangy, creamy or citrusy,” said Mackenzie Gibson, VP of culinary & menu innovation at Sonic. “Previously, the number of ready-to-order drink combinations on our menu was limited to only a few Sonic signature drinks like Cherry Limeade and Ocean Water, but now with these new ready-to-order options, it’s easier than ever to enjoy the bold flavors at Sonic with just the push of a button.”

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