Coke Solutions
Beverage Trends

Frozen Drinks Cool Off Customers, Heat Up Profits

Keep customers coming back with fun frozen beverage options

As temperatures climb, so does consumer demand for quick, convenient and fun frozen drinks. That's not news. But what is news, says Randy Raymond, director of retail foodservice strategy for The Coca-Cola Company, are the flavor and color options on the market — and the new generation of consumers injecting life and vitality into the segment. One significant trend: Traditional frozen carbonated beverages (FCBs) are being supplemented by frozen uncarbonated beverages (FUBs), which tend to be smoother in texture, without the light and fluffy expansion of FCBs.

Key to making frozen beverages work in convenience retail stores is understanding consumer preferences, Raymond says. "Frozen beverages today are largely driven by teens and millennials, who are attracted to these drinks because they are fun. This group loves new, interesting flavors, and they love having the opportunity to mix and match both colors and flavors to create highly personalized drinks that reflect their mood and personality."

Raymond says C-store operators should keep these frozen drink statistics, based on Coca-Cola market research, in mind:

  • Demand is seasonal, picking up in late spring, peaking at the height of summer and tailing off midfall.
  • Because frozen beverages are widely available, it's important to differentiate your store from the competition.
  • Almost 50% of all frozen beverage purchases are impulse buys, with half of those purchases made because the product looked good or the consumer saw an interesting color or flavor, according to theCoca-Cola Frozen Category Attitude and Usage Study, 2013.
  • 37% of teens and millennials choose a store location that allows them to customize colors and flavors, according to the Coca-Cola FCB Flavor Exploration Study, 2015.
  • The frozen beverage category thrives on innovation: 65% of consumers love to see a mix of both traditional and new products and flavors, according to the Coca-Cola FCB Flavor Exploration Study, 2015.
  • 73% of consumers say they'd love to see frozen beverage products and flavors rotated once a month or more, according to the Coca-Cola FCB Flavor Exploration Study, 2015.

Because exploration has become such a crucial part of the consumer experience, The Coca-Cola Company offers a wide range of enticing beverage types and flavors, including FUBs built on the Hi-C®POWERADE®, and Minute Maid® brands, as well as FCBs based on traditional products, such as Coca-Cola®Sprite® and Fanta®.

Raymond says this range is useful in catering to additional frozen beverage demands. "Teens really like sweet and sour FCBs, which Fanta addresses with its limited-time Green Apple Watermelon flavor," he says. "We're also seeing demand for desert-themed frozen beverages, like Strawberry Shortcake or Banana Split, as well as a thirst for tropical-themed colors and flavors like Mango and Passion Fruit. Again, Fanta has delivered in both cases with Fanta Strawberry Shortcake and Fanta Pineapple Punch flavors."

Variety really fuels the frozen drink market, Raymond says. "My biggest advice to convenience store operators is don't let your frozen drink offerings get stale. That's the worst thing you can do. This drink category has tremendous potential to drive new consumers into your stores, provided you keep it interesting by constantly rotating both new and traditional flavors."

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Published: June 23, 2016