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Industry Trends
A Time and a Reason for Specialty Beverage LTOs

Whether we want to believe it or not, Fall is fast approaching. As the weather cools in much of the U.S., consumers will begin to seek out more hot beverages and different flavors for their beverage choices. While summer might inspire cravings for refreshing fruit or tropical flavors, fall means pumpkin, apple, and spice. Fall is when Starbucks brings back the extremely popular Pumpkin Spice Latte. As we move further into the holiday season, we find an explosion of mochas: peppermint from Starbucks and white from McDonald’s. 
 
Some of us may wince at the thought of Fall and Winter promotions when we’re trying to hang on to the waning days of Summer. However, now is the time for operators to get a jump-start on marketing seasonal specialties. These limited-time offerings (LTOs) are customer favorites and provide a great way to appeal to new and existing customers. 
 
As with any LTO, seasonal beverage offers must create a sense of urgency with a specific start and end date. Part of the attraction of an LTO is that consumers want to purchase it right away – before it’s gone.
 
Seasonal beverages produce higher checks
 
Offering seasonal beverage items for a limited duration can be a good strategy for increasing average spend per customer. While most seasonal beverage offerings may be priced a bit higher than other traditional beverages, the price point is acceptable based on the value received. The beverages are unique, craveable, and only available once a year. Why not splurge a bit?
 
 

The NPD Group is the industry’s leading source for foodservice trends and restaurant market research data. NPD’s CREST® service, which continually tracks consumers’ use of commercial and non-commercial foodservice, assists foodservice manufacturers, foodservice operators, and other foodservice organizations with strategic planning and positioning, product/menu development, and consumer targeting. For more information visit our website at www.restaurantindustrytrends.com