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Non-alcoholic Beverages at Restaurants - US - April 2011

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research finds that more than half of respondents who order non-alcoholic restaurant beverages buy hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages without buying a meal at least once a month. This means that the beverage menu can be a significant draw for consumers and is an essential component in building incremental business.

Yet, the recession and health trends are important factors contributing to shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants. This report explores how these trends impact what’s on the beverage menu, the price of drinks, and differences by restaurant segment. Mintel provides valuable insights that can help you make informed decisions regarding tailoring marketing messages and product innovations to drive usage and support restaurant sales via the nonalcoholic beverage menu.

You will find thoughtful discussion on these topics as well as others that include:

  • Opportunities to market nonalcoholic beverages that meet the highly subjective “healthy” beverage criteria
  • The effects of unemployment and underemployment, poor consumer confidence, and limited personal disposable income on the restaurant industry
  • Discussion of how the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages plays into health and wellness, along with the subsequent impact on restaurant-goers’ attitudes and behaviors toward non-alcoholic beverage usage at restaurants
  • How health trends continue to shape consumer choice of beverages
  • Beverage menu trends by type of non-alcoholic drink and price
  • Trends in beverage menu offerings by restaurant segment
  • In-depth menu analysis of soda, tea, coffee and frozen non-alcoholic drinks by type, price, flavor and marketing/nutritional claims, underscored with industry examples
  • Analysis of beverage-centric marketing and promotional strategies by leading restaurant operators
  • Exploration of types of non-alcoholic beverages ordered from a restaurant, including differences for on-premise use and takeout
  • Frequency of beverage-only purchases, with differences by hot and cold beverage types
  • Shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, and reasons for reduced usage
  • Consumer attitudes regarding health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, ordering behavior and decision-influencing factors
  • Exploring types of beverages consumed by children at restaurants and reasons for these choices, as well as differences in usage by age of child

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Consumer frugality impacts non-alcoholic beverage use at restaurants
                        • Connection between obesity and sugary beverages
                          • Trends on the beverage menu
                            • Differences in non-alcoholic beverages by restaurant segment
                              • Opportunity to leverage the health value of tea
                                • Innovation lacking in coffee beverage menu items
                                  • Frozen beverages allow consumers choice of indulgence or health
                                    • Beverages often bought at restaurants without buying a meal
                                      • Non-alcoholic beverages drunk by kids
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • The “healthy” beverage predicament
                                          • Insights
                                            • Figure 1: Incidence of watching diet, 2008-10
                                            • Figure 2: Types of food bought when watching diet, 2008-10
                                            • Figure 3: Incidence of non-alcoholic beverage use, by healthy attitudes, July 2009-September 2010
                                          • Opportunities
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Trend: Snack Society
                                              • Market Factors

                                                • Restaurant industry outlook is positive
                                                    • Figure 4: NRA performance indices, January 2009-January 2011
                                                  • Restaurant sales continue to climb
                                                    • Figure 5: Adjusted foodservice and drinking places sales, January 2008-January 2011
                                                  • Unemployment and underemployment still high
                                                    • Figure 6: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-February 2011
                                                  • Consumers have more cash and confidence
                                                    • Figure 7: Real personal disposable income, January 2007-December 2010
                                                    • Figure 8: Consumer Sentiment Index, March 2007-February 2011
                                                  • Obesity rates steady, but still high
                                                      • Figure 9: Age-adjusted prevalence of being overweight, obese, or extremely obese, among adults aged 20 or older, 1988-2008
                                                    • Children following in parents’ footsteps
                                                        • Figure 10: Prevalence of obesity among children aged 2-19, 1988-2008
                                                      • Health trends shape consumer restaurant beverage choices
                                                        • Shift away from soda
                                                          • The focus on sugar in beverages
                                                          • Beverage Trends: Types of Non-alcoholic Drink

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Beverage menu trends
                                                                • More milk and tea available on restaurant beverage menus
                                                                  • Figure 11: Incidence of leading types of non-alcoholic beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                • Tea and water prices increase the most; milk and soda are least expensive
                                                                    • Figure 12: Average price of leading types of non-alcoholic beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                  • Trend forward
                                                                  • Beverage Trends: Restaurant Segments

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • QSRs offer the largest number of beverage menu items
                                                                        • Figure 13: Incidence of non-alcoholic beverage items on the menu, by restaurant segment, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                        • Figure 14: Number of distinct restaurants**, by restaurant segment, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                      • Fine dining segment implements greatest price increase
                                                                        • Figure 15: Average price of non-alcoholic beverage items on the menu, by restaurant segment, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                      • Fine dining commands highest prices in each beverage segment
                                                                        • Figure 16: Average price of non-alcoholic beverage items on the menu, by restaurant segment, Q4 2010
                                                                      • Casual restaurants provide most satisfaction
                                                                        • Figure 17: Level of satisfaction with restaurant beverage options, by restaurant segment, December 2010
                                                                    • Menu Analysis: Tea

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Solid growth in number of tea beverages on menu
                                                                            • Figure 18: Incidence of leading types of tea beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                          • Specialty teas command higher prices
                                                                              • Figure 19: Average price of leading types of tea beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                              • Figure 20: McDonald’s television ad, sweet tea, March 2011
                                                                            • Gourmet, artisan tea is gaining momentum
                                                                                • Figure 21: Incidence of leading marketing and nutritional claims of tea beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                            • Menu Analysis: Coffee

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Number of coffee items on the menu remains stagnant
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Incidence of leading types of coffee beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                                  • Figure 23: McDonald’s television ad, McCafé Frappé, October 2011
                                                                                • Solid price increases in coffee menu items
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Average price of leading types of coffee beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                                  • Nonfat, sugar-free coffees post strongest growth
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Incidence of leading marketing and nutritional claims of coffee beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                                    • Spice-infused coffees gaining popularity
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Incidence of leading flavors of coffee beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q42010
                                                                                    • Menu Analysis: Frozen Beverages

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Smoothies continue to emerge on restaurant menus
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Incidence of leading types of frozen beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q42010
                                                                                            • Figure 28: McDonald’s television ad, Shamrock Shake, February 2011
                                                                                          • Prices of frozen beverages rise slowly
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Average price of leading types of frozen beverage on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                                          • Frozen beverages going organic
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Incidence of leading marketing and nutritional claims of frozen beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q4 2010
                                                                                            • Strawberry tops frozen beverage flavor list
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Incidence of leading flavors of frozen beverages on the menu, Q4 2008-Q42010
                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Select restaurant advertisers*, by segment, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                              • Marketing the beverage menu
                                                                                                • Sonic: A fast food player with strong beverage platform
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Sonic’s television ad, Sundae Shakes, January 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Sonicdrivein.com monthly visits, February 2010-January 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Demographic index* for sonicdrivein.com, by age, April 2010
                                                                                                • McDonald’s: Marketing a new beverage concept
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: McDonald’s television ad, McCafé Iced Coffee, March 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: McDonald’s television ad, McCafé Real Fruit Smoothies, August 2010
                                                                                                  • Figure 38: McDonalds.com monthly visits, February 2010-January 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Demographic index* for mcdonalds.com, by gender, April 2010
                                                                                                • Jamba Juice engages with social media
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Jambajuice.com monthly visits, February 2010-January 2011
                                                                                                • Usage of Non-alcoholic Beverages at Restaurants

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Regular soda and coffee most popular non-alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from a restaurant, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                      • Under-25s more likely to order all types of non-alcoholic beverage
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from a restaurant, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                      • Less affluent drink regular soda while high incomes order diet
                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from a restaurant, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                      • On-premise consumption of non-alcoholic beverages stronger than takeout
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered at restaurants, on-premise vs. takeout, December 2010
                                                                                                    • Beverage-only Purchases

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Incidence of beverage-only purchases
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Frequency of beverage-only purchases, by type, December 2010
                                                                                                        • Under-25s most frequent beverage-only purchasers
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Frequency of beverage-only purchases, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                      • Shifts in Consumption Patterns

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Regular soda and shakes drunk less often
                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, by type, December 2010
                                                                                                          • Reasons for drinking fewer non-alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Reasons for drinking fewer non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                            • Older consumers drinking more tap water as an economical and healthy drink alternative
                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Reasons for drinking fewer non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                            • Budgetary reasons aren’t necessarily why lower incomes drink fewer beverages
                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Reasons for drinking fewer non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                          • Attitudes and Behaviors of Non-alcoholic Beverage Drinkers

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Health perceptions
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Older consumers less interested in nutritional transparency
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Ordering behavior
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Non-alcoholic beverage ordering behavior, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Under-35s more willing to try new flavors in non-alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Non-alcoholic beverage ordering behavior, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Decision influencers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Decision influencers and important factors regarding drink and restaurant choice, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                  • Under-35s more influenced by brand and beverage variety
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Decision influencers and important factors regarding drink and restaurant choice, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Non-alcoholic Beverage Choices for Kids

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Majority of kids drink restaurant beverages—juice and milk most popular
                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Types of non-alcoholic beverage consumed by kids at restaurants, dads vs. moms, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Beverage choice varies by age of child
                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Types of non-alcoholic beverage consumed by kids at restaurants, by age of child, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Kids’ preferences drive restaurant beverage choice
                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Decision influencers on child’s beverage choice, dads vs. moms, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Asians order a variety of non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from a restaurant, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Asians have high frequency for beverage-only purchases
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Frequency of beverage-only purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Asians have strong health perceptions regarding non-alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Asians and Hispanics plan to order healthier non-alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Non-alcoholic beverage ordering behavior, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Variety and combo meals influence Asians’ restaurant choice
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Decision influencers and important factors regarding drink and restaurant choice, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                          • Unchanging Drinkers
                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                  • Rarely Non-alcoholics
                                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                          • Satisfied, Frequent Guzzlers
                                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Frequency of beverage-only purchases by type, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic soda beverages at restaurants, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic tea and coffee beverages at restaurants, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Shifts in consumption of non-alcoholic frozen beverages at restaurants, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Shifts in consumption of other non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Level of satisfaction with restaurant beverage options, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Non-alcoholic beverage ordering behavior, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Decision influencers and important factors regarding drink and restaurant choice, by non-alcoholic beverage clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, by race, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Non-alcoholic beverage clusters, by Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                  • Custom Groups: Light, Medium, and Heavy Users

                                                                                                                                                      • Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from restaurants
                                                                                                                                                        • Heavy users significantly more likely to order all types of beverage at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered from a restaurant, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Medium users most likely to not order non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered for on-premise consumption, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Heavy users have high incidence for ordering beverages for takeout
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Types of non-alcoholic beverage ordered for takeout, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes and behaviors in non-alcoholic beverage consumption
                                                                                                                                                          • Heavy users show greater interest in healthy non-alcoholic beverages
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Health perceptions of non-alcoholic beverages, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Medium users interested in new flavors and plan to drink healthier beverages
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Non-alcoholic beverage ordering behavior, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • The beverage menu plays more heavily into restaurant choice of heavy users
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Decision influencers and important factors regarding drink and restaurant choice, by usage frequency groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                          • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • American Medical Association (AMA)
                                                                                                                                                          • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                          • Caribou Coffee Company Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • Coca-Cola Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                          • Corn Refiners Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                          • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                          • Jamba Juice Company
                                                                                                                                                          • McDonald's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                          • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                                                          • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                                                          • PepsiCo Inc
                                                                                                                                                          • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                                                          • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                          • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Department of Agriculture

                                                                                                                                                          Non-alcoholic Beverages at Restaurants - US - April 2011

                                                                                                                                                          £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)