The Coca-Cola 2016 Away from Home Beverage Landscape Study outlines some exciting facts about the existing opportunity when consumers are away from home and ways to unlock it. Here are a few key insights — plus actions you can take to impact your bottom line.
- The away-from-home opportunity is bigger than you think.
The average American experiences 22 away-from-home situations every week in which he or she could purchase a beverage or food — that's more than 5 billion situations every week for opportunity growth. Only half of those 5 billion situations include a beverage, with food or solo. The other half — when no beverage is consumed — is an untapped opportunity.
- Beverage choice influences outlet choice.
Beverages influence outlet choice in about 45% of all away-from-home eating and/or drinking occasions. High importance of beverages is expected for coffee shops and convenience retail, where beverage often is a primary choice, but we also see significant influence of beverages on outlet choice in QSR and FSR channels. This power of beverages can and should be leveraged to capture traffic and revenue growth opportunities in foodservice.
- Situations and moods predict consumer behavior better than demographic factors.
The away-from-home life situations consumers are in, such as commuting or meeting friends, are more predictive of beverage occasions than any other factor we studied, including demographics. There is a strong connection between consumer situations, moods and motives, and their beverage selection, because beverages have powerful mood-management capabilities. Knowing which beverages best fit consumer situations, moods and motives provides an opportunity to better connect with your guests.
- Carbonated soft drinks are flexible and play a multifaceted role.
Carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) are often underestimated, but the fact is that they are the most widely consumed non-alcoholic beverage category across all foodservice channels — one out of four drinks consumed away from home is a sparkling beverage. CSDs are highly relevant in all away-from-home situations and moods, in addition to being in the top three pairings with all food types. Finding the right occasions to leverage versatility of sparkling beverages, while providing other choices to consumers, can be a powerful business-building strategy.
- Millennials drive away-from-home beverage volume.
Millennials consume twice as many beverages away from home than older generations, and millennial men with young children have the highest number of away-from-home situations and, therefore, consume the most away-from-home beverages every week. It's vital to offer relevant choices to connect with these high-frequency, on-the-go, variety-seeking consumers.
So what does this mean for your foodservice operation? How can you use the research to grow beverage sales? Consider these ideas:
- Look beyond demographics to open new growth opportunities. Connect your out-of-outlet marketing to the key situations and moods consumers are experiencing. For example, a large untapped opportunity lies in the 800 million situations per week when people commute to and from work without drinking a beverage. By focusing on specific sets of situations, operators can select marketing methods to better reach these consumers, in this case radio ads or billboards.
- Consider common situations and cater to the moods (carefree, stressed, etc.) guests are experiencing when they arrive in-outlet. Adjust zone merchandising, menus and crew training to meet guest needs based on situations and moods. Menu boards and POS messaging can play to top-indexing situations and/or moods by daypart, location or brand strategy, and operators and crew members can respond accordingly to the likely mood states of guests in personal interactions.
- Leverage the influence of beverages to drive consumers to your outlets. Growth opportunities include featuring destination beverages and beverages bundled with meals and snacks. Offer meaningful beverage variety, innovation and marketing to cater to different guest moods and motivations.