A Quick Look at Canada's Beverage Trends in 2020
While the COVID-19 crisis has certainly changed several aspects of beverage service in Canada -- in large part the ways in which they are delivered to customers -- the trends we saw at the beginning of the year are still just as relevant as ever. In some cases, you could even argue beverages are even more accessible than food in 2020, simply because of their portability for takeout and delivery scenarios.
So what kind of beverages are people drinking, and where can we expect to see growth in the beverage sector as we push toward 2021? Let's take a quick look at the current beverage trends in Canada.
As noted a few years ago by the the National Restaurant Association in the United States and by a recent Canadian beverage trends report from Technomic, CBD-infused beverages are one of the hottest trends in foodservice. As more and more consumers look for beverages with functional benefits, you can expect to see extreme growth from CBD-infused drinks.
"Consumers are more health conscious and believe the food they consume plays a huge part in their overall health," says Karen McEachern, technical manager for product and process innovation, consulting & technical services at Ontario-based NSF International, in a recent Foodservice & Hospitality article. "The adage that food is medicine is a big driver."
N/A & ZERO PROOF
Though we're likely to see some statistical changes to this trend once all is said and done, especially considering reports on increases in alcohol consumption during the coronavirus pandemic, there's still no turning back from the increases in popularity for non-alcoholic and zero proof beverage options. In the same article, McEachern points out the growing trend and the demographics that drive it.
"Once again, this beverage category plays to the health-conscious consumer, although the growth in recent years tends to be attributed to the younger generation, who are generally between the ages of 20 and 30. They still want to enjoy the social experience with friends and family, but are choosing to do so with alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages.”
The changes can include things like zero proof cocktails, N/A beer, and even beverages where there's still an important element of ritual. Instead of process behind a well-crafted cocktail, non-alcoholic options might include yerba mate tea or the increasing popularity of cold coffee preparations.
While N/A is definitely growing in popularity, don't count out the importance of the "leaded" stuff. Craft spirts and alcohols are more popular than ever. Like in other aspects of foodservice, products that are local and premium are at a premium.
“The growth in this category can also be attributed to a push from the consumer to be more involved in the brands they choose to support,” says McEachern. “Smaller brands are able to adapt quickly to the needs of their consumers, which in turn allows the consumer to feel heard and connects them even more with the brand. Consumers today are looking for an experience and are willing to spend more on the products they support.”
W.D. Colledge has a breadth of knowledge and solutions to help make your beverage program more profitable.
From the products we've always offered to a new range of beverage-focused solutions, schedule some time with one of our experts to talk through this entire range of profit-potential in your beverage program.