Refreshing Summer Beverages: Iced Tea and Kombucha

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Warmer weather signals a great time to offer on-trend iced tea specialties and kombucha, an attention-grabbing new category made from fermented, sweetened tea.

Jars of berry-infused iced tea

Iced Tea Specialties

Iced tea is practically ubiquitous, on nearly 73% of US menus, according to Datassential. But that doesn’t mean iced tea has to be predictable. As with any familiar customer favorite, a little creativity will go a long way toward turning iced tea into a premium specialty.

  • Jamaica (hibiscus and fruit tea)
  • Iced Tea Slushie
  • 50/50 (iced tea and lemonade, plain or flavored)
  • Blackberry Thyme Iced Tea (muddle with fresh blackberries or shake with blackberry syrup and garnish with a sprig of thyme)
  • Call out an on-trend sweetener such as agave syrup, honey, stevia, or even maple syrup


A fermented, lightly sweetened refresher made with black or green tea, “booch” appears to be the It beverage of the moment, having grown more than 225% on menus over the past four years, according to Datassential. Its current popularity stems from increasing consumer fascination with the perceived health benefits of fermented products, but kombucha’s sweet-tangy flavor profile has won over thirsty guests of all kinds.

Although the beverage is showing up more widely in cans and bottles, it’s relatively easy to make kombucha in-house, which has the added attraction of being a talking point within these artisanal times. Some operators even serve it on tap.


Source: Datassential SNAP Food Profile: Kombucha (2017) 

The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.