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Canadians want more beverage variety in quick-service restaurants: Technomic report


January 2, 2015
By Canadian Pizza

Jan. 2, 2015, Chicago – When it comes to beverages, Canadian consumers
are looking for greater
functional health benefits and more variety in quick-service restaurant
offerings, suggests a recent study by food industry consultants
Technomic.


Jan. 2, 2015, Chicago – When it comes to beverages, Canadian consumers are looking for greater
functional health benefits and more variety in quick-service restaurant offerings, suggests a recent study by food industry consultants Technomic.

Consumers are even more concerned about value than they were two years ago, says Technomic's Canadian Beverage Consumer Trend Report. For example, value meals with beverages have gained appeal:
46 per cent of recently surveyed consumers said this was important, up from 40
per cent.

Bundles, low prices, discounts, portion sizes and
convenience factors are some of the key pieces of the value equation – dynamics
that vary depending on the demographic group. For instance, while a convenient
location is the leading traffic driver for beverage occasions overall,
consumers aged 18–34 place higher importance than those aged 35 and older on
low prices and speed of service.

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"Operators have room to leverage beverage value in a
way that aligns with their concept positioning and won't detract from their bottom
line," said Kelly Weikel, senior consumer research manager at Technomic,
in a news release.

"Bundled meals, for example, can help limited-service
operators increase cheque averages and provide consumers both value and
convenience. Full-service restaurants, on the other hand, can find other ways
to implement value across beverage menus – from off-peak beverage specials to
food and beverage pairings for snack occasions," said Weikel.

To help foodservice executives understand the latest
consumer behaviours, preferences and attitudes regarding non-alcohol beverages,
Technomic has published an update of its Canadian Beverage Consumer Trend
Report. Interesting findings include:

  • At least half of consumers would be more likely to purchase
    beverages with functional benefits, such as antioxidant-rich drinks (51 per
    cent), and beverages that are all natural (61 per cent) or contain no
    artificial ingredients (57 percent).
  • More than two-fifths of consumers aged 18–44 strongly agree
    that FSRs (44 per cent) and fast-food concepts (42 per cent) should offer
    greater beverage variety.
  • Many consumers say they buy specialty (59 per cent) and hot
    (31 per cent) tea more often today than they did in 2012, and 46 per cent
    expect to buy specialty tea more often in 2016.

The report provides
research on the latest menu and consumer trends shaping the beverage category.