Crafting Beverage Value Beyond Price

Published :  April 19, 2024

A s the rising cost of doing business continues to challenge foodservice operators, one basic rule of economics comes squarely into play: raise prices too high, and you run the risk of driving customers away. This is indeed what is happening with beverages today. Among the top 500 restaurant chains, the average nonalcoholic beverage price has increased 12.6% over the past two years.1 Not surprisingly, 67% of consumers ages 18-35 and 56% of consumers ages 35+ are ordering beverages much less or somewhat less often due to higher prices.1

The good news is, there are ways to combat these market pressures that can effectively shift the consumer mindset from “I’m paying higher prices” to “I’m getting greater value” instead. Take a look at these four creative approaches that can help get customers excited about your beverage selection once again.

Enticing Promotions

Creating limited-time beverage offers can be a powerful tool to win back lapsed or reduced-frequency beverage consumers.2

  • On-trend tropical flavors such as dragon fruit, coconut, passionfruit, and calamansi can appeal to younger consumers.2
  • Globally inspired beverage flavors such as matcha, ube, hibiscus, and tamarind can add even more intrigue.2
  • Offering incentives such as combo deals and loyalty programs will appeal to price-sensitive consumers.1

Premium Ingredients

Emphasizing high-quality, fresh beverage ingredients can drive value perceptions and justify a higher price point.1

  • Calling out attributes like “made with real cane sugar,” “made with real fruit juices,” or “hand-crafted sugar” will help customers understand why a beverage is higher priced.1
  • Using descriptors such as “premium,” “crafted,” and “artisanal” can further encourage customers to pay more.1

Compelling Customization

Consumers, particularly Gen Z’ers and millennials, crave customization in their food and beverage experience.3

  • You can capitalize on the demand for custom drinks by offering the option to add syrups, creams, fruits, and sauces to coffees, teas, sodas, and energy drinks.3
  • Offering custom beverages that are challenging to recreate at home will further enhance the value perception.3

Social Media Appeal

Younger consumers value the visual appeal of their food and beverages, seeking TikTok- and Instagram-worthy moments when they dine out.

  • To add value to drinks, create visually appealing beverages worthy of sharing on social media.
  • Try layering colored syrups and/or offering options for cold foams and other fun toppers.
  • Incorporate fruit, popping boba, or even edible glitter to get phones snapping pictures and customers sharing posts.

However you decide to approach a beverage-boosting strategy in your operation, you can turn to PepsiCo Partners for popular and delicious products that are sure to fit the bill. Offerings such as Starry® and bubly® provide the perfect canvas for your creative beverage exploration. Meanwhile, products like Stubborn®, Bundaberg, Viva Sol Aguas Frescas™ have built-in attributes that are ready to be touted on your menu. Explore our entire portfolio.


1Technomic Away-from-Home-Beverage Navigator Study (May 2023)

2Datassential Non-Alcoholic Beverage Flavors Menu Adoption Curve (November 2023)

3Nation’s Restaurant News, Dirty sodas appeal to young experimental restaurant consumers, March 2024