Beverage trends spilling into the restaurant industry


A pour start: Beverage trends 2015

Fads come and go, but true emerging beverage trends have staying power and growth potential. We’ve done some recon on what’s predicted to be the next big thing in craft beer, cocktailing and fast-casual drinks—the developments poised to make dollars and sense for operators in the year ahead.


Low alcohol, high payoff

Low-alcohol cocktails are trending on drink menus. One reason: Operators offering a shims list can dodge the huge cost of a full liquor license.

Residents of five cities across the country—Chicago; Boulder, Colo.; and three Bay Area locales, including San Francisco—voted to approve soda tax measures.

Hot and cold beverages accounted for over $181 billion in sales last year.

The chain goes beyond soda and lemonade to drive sales for the alcohol-free crowd.

With noticeable caution but high hopes, chains are seeing how they can include a bottle or six-pack with off-premise orders.

Juicing is powering up menus. The recession put a squeeze on sales of made-to-order juices, according to the 2014 Juice & Smoothie Bars in the U.S. report by Los Angeles market researcher IBISWorld. But increased consumer demand for healthy beverages and an expansion of juicing into concepts other than smoothie and juice bars are revitalizing the category, the report says.

While breakfast eaters still opt for eggs or yogurt, protein-rich smoothies and shakes are a growing opportunity for operators targeting people on the go.

As consumer demand for convenience continues to fuel growth in takeout, it’s important we continue to explore additional product offerings, like beer.

Bartenders share what’s hot with consumers and what’s not, as well as the promotions they're using to drive sales.

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