Satisfy Snackers with Grab-and-Go Beverages

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Beverages are increasingly popular snack items—especially at midmorning and midafternoon. Try adding specialty coffees, juices, iced coffees, and chai to your grab-and-go snack program for extra sales.

Hand holding grab and go iced coffee
©iStockphoto.com/blackred

Today’s beverages are more than just refreshments. Many specialty beverages—coffee and espresso, tea, juices, smoothies, hot cocoa—do double duty as snacks and between-meal pick-me-ups. And that makes them ideal for a grab-and-go program.

Take coffee, for example. According to Datassential, more than 20% of consumers who drink coffee consume brewed coffee or a specialty coffee (such as cappuccino or espresso) during the midmorning, and more than 15% enjoy it in the afternoon.

For more information on beverages as snacks, see below.

Defining snacks as anything eaten or drunk outside of a full meal, Datassential reveals some other significant patterns in its consumer research.

  • 91% of respondents had a snack beverage the day prior to taking the survey
  • The average number of snack beverages consumed in that day was 3-4

Certainly, the definition of what constitutes a snack is broadening. According to Technomic, the growth of beverage and snack chains like Jamba Juice, Smoothie King, Auntie Anne’s, and Krispy Kreme carries implications for all food service operations, where grab-and-go can offer an alternative.

More substantial beverage offerings such as smoothies, juices, lemonade, and milkshakes, specialty coffee beverages, and hot cocoa—in addition to iced and hot brewed coffee, and tea—can be positioned as grab-and-go snacks, with or without companion food items. Because they are less expensive than traditional snacks or appetizers, says Technomic, beverages are extra appealing as snacks.

Customizable beverages represent another opportunity, especially among experience-minded Millennials and other experimental types.

Consider merchandising these beverage options for grab-and-go:

  • Cold brew coffee
  • Customizable brewed coffee (DIY with flavor shots or flavored creamers)
  • Specialty coffee (cappuccino, latte, espresso)
  • Chai, hot or iced
  • Lemonade, including flavored varieties
  • Flavored ice tea, or 50/50 iced tea and lemonade
  • Hot cocoa
  • Shakes and other blended iced specialty coffee beverages
  • Smoothies
  • Juices and juice blends

Sources: Datassential Keynote Report, Non-Alcoholic Beverages (May 2015); Technomic Snacking Occasions Consumer Trend Report, 2016