Read on to find out more about beverage trends and how they can apply to your business to connect with your customers and elevate their flavor experience.

Alternative Milk

Since 2012, sales of non-dairy milk have grown an impressive 61% and last year the total alternative milk market reached $2.1 billion in sales.*

Oat milk is the latest and most exciting alternative milk option on the market.

  • Sales increase of 33% over the last year.**
  • Stronger perception of sustainability – requires much less water to grow oats vs. nuts.
  • Increasing popularity within the coffee community – easy to steam and smooth mouthfeel.

Alternative milks can also be incorporated into smoothies – it's a simple way to cut sugar and calories while maintaining great flavor and texture.


*Mintel US Non-Dairy Milk Report, 2017
**Nielsen, August 2018


Cold Coffee Beverages

Since 2013, mentions of cold brew on foodservice menus have grown 400%.*

  • Millennials are cold brew's primary growth drivers – 54% have tried it**.
  • With the popularity of ready-to-drink (RTD) options, foodservice outlets can appeal to younger consumers with a batched grab-and-go offering (see Salted Caramel Sesame Cold Brew below).

While the popularity of cold brew is unprecedented, traditional iced coffee is on the rise again.

  • Between 2018 and 2022, iced coffee is projected to grow 16.8% on menus – while cold brew is projected to grow 11.7%.***


*Datassential MenuTrends™, 2017
**Datassential Buzz Topical Report, 2017
***Nestle Professional Cold Coffee Report, 2019



Consumers are seeking an elevated drink experience beyond just flavor.

  • From 2013 – 2017, there was a 16% increase in beverage sensory claims.*
  • This has been largely driven by the popularity of nitro cold brew, which has grown 2000% on menus since 2014.**

The use of texture has not been limited to just coffee beverages – it’s also being used in tea.

  • The cheese tea trend began in Taiwan and is now making its way into boba tea shops in the US.
  • The “cheese” is added to the top of milk tea and resembles a fluffy cheesecake texture with a slightly savory flavor.

*Imbibe Beverage Trends, 2018
**Nestle Professional Cold Coffee Report, 2019


Wow Factor

41% of Millennials use social media images to decide whether to visit a foodservice establishment.*

Younger consumers are seeking drinks with bright, bold colors and fun garnishes – and they are especially eager to share their drink experiences with friends.

Taste, however, is just as important as looks. This flavor-seeking age demographic wants options that are playful and oftentimes nostalgic – think cereal milk, s'mores and cookie dough.



*Technomic, 2018