The convenience store market is rapidly evolving, offering customers a wide array of beverage choices. From craft beer to health-forward beverages, convenience stores across the United States are keeping up with the ever-changing needs of their customers. With this increased competition, food & beverage distributors must be up to date on the convenience store beverage trends.
In this article, we tackle some of the most common questions around convenience store beverage trends that distributors should be familiar with. What are the fastest-growing beverage categories? What is the importance of menu boards? Are there any trends for beverage technology? These are all staples of the convenience store landscape, but what do distributors need to know? We’ll answer all your questions and more.
Fastest Growing Beverage Categories in Convenience Stores
When considering what to present in convenience stores, it’s important to be aware of the trends in consumer behavior and preferences. Increased focus on health and wellness, craft beverages, sustainability, and more exciting offerings have shaped the beverage industry.
The fastest-growing categories in convenience store beverages are sparkling water, health drinks, iced tea, and energy drinks. Sparkling water sales continue to swell as consumers look for a lower-calorie and healthier alternative to traditional colas and other soft drinks. Health drinks, like protein shakes and smoothies, have become increasingly popular. Ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees are also on the rise, as customers want an alternative to soft drinks. Finally, energy drinks remain one of the fastest-growing categories, with increased demand as consumers become more concerned about sugar levels.
Menu boards are becoming increasingly important for convenience stores, allowing customers to quickly recognize options, identify new products, and make informed choices. The key element of the modern convenience store menu board is the visuals. Wide-format photos, vibrant graphics, bold fonts, and simple labeling can draw attention to new items and encourage customers to try something unique.
Menu boards also allow customers to better understand what they are buying, as well as providing nutritional information and other key details. This is especially important for health-conscious consumers, as it allows them to make informed decisions about what they consume.
Beverage Technology Trends
Beverage technology is becoming increasingly important in the convenience store landscape. Self-serve machines, such as Coca-Cola Freestyle, allow customers to customize their drinks and try new products. These machines are becoming increasingly popular in convenience stores and are expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
Another trend is the rise of advanced payment technology. Mobile and cashless payment options are becoming increasingly popular, allowing customers to quickly purchase their items without waiting in line. This offers convenience store customers a more seamless experience and is expected to continue to grow in the future.
Convenience stores offer customers a wide range of options, from traditional soft drinks to craft beverages and health drinks. To be successful, food & beverage distributors must be aware of the latest trends in the convenience store beverage industry. This includes understanding the fastest-growing categories, the importance of menu boards, and advances in beverage technology. With this knowledge, distributors can better position their products to succeed in the convenience store market.