Creating a Health-Conscious Drink Menu: 5 Things to Know
H ealth trends seem to come and go, but over the last few years, there has been a renewed focus on ingredients, nutrition labels and the functional benefits of foods and beverages. Staying ahead of these changing consumer expectations can be a daunting task, so we’ve focused on five areas of special attention for menus.
1. Organic and Clean Label Ingredients
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults say they try to choose foods with clean ingredients.1 While there is no singular definition for what “clean label” means, consumers simply know it when they see it. A safe bet is to think about fewer ingredients with recognizable names.
“Organic” and “real” ingredients also help create a healthy halo around food and beverages. “Organic” has been in the top three healthy claims made at fast-casual restaurants for over two years now.2
Beverage brands such as Naked have staked their reputation on having recognizable ingredients. Naked Juice Kale Blazer is made with juices from kale, oranges, cucumber, spinach, celery and apples with a hint of ginger and lemon.
2. Specialty Diets
It's no surprise that fad diets are always emerging, but today's consumers are looking for more long-term lifestyle solutions than a quick fix — think wholistic adjustments as opposed to one single change. Calling attention to menu options and drinks that fit within specialty diets will help all guests make better choices. Operators can also adjust or implement new choices that adhere to rising health trends.
Coconut water is having a moment and fits into many trending diets. Naked Juice Pure Coconut Water is an excellent choice since it leads the category in flavor.
3. Reducing Sugar
Recent research shows 80% of U.S. consumers are reducing sugar intake. Of those, 83% find sugar reduction to be important in beverages.3 While guests may not always be counting calories when they're dining out, having low- and zero-calorie drink options will definitely be a smart choice going forward. Brands such as Mtn Dew are getting in on the trend with plenty of diet and zero-sugar options.
4. Sparkling Water and Spritzed Cocktails Continue Their Rise
Drinks in these categories are still growing in popularity thanks in large part to the trends of calorie reduction and label consciousness. These beverages often have only a couple of ingredients that are all recognizable, and much fewer calories compared to traditional choices. Therefore, they're seen as better-for-you choices. If you haven't already considered adding more of these drinks to your menu, now's the time to do so. Sparkling beverages from bubly come in a wide variety of exciting flavors and blends that complement all kinds of dishes.
5. Probiotics and Prebiotics
This trend has been spurred on by the movement seen in previous years of fermented foods with gut-healthy probiotics.4 Dishes like tempeh, pickled vegetables, infused vinegars, and fermented dairy products are showing up on more menus across the nation. Kombuchas like KeVita which is certified organic and non-GMO along with drinkable yogurts like kefir should be considered for drink menu updates.
Rely on Your Partners
While keeping track of what’s important to guests can seem like a moving target, familiarizing yourself with these five topics will put you on the right track to success. Be sure to explore all the drink options available from PepsiCo that meet the needs of your guests and your menu.
1 Institute of Food Technologists, Sept. 2021
2 Ignite menu data, top 500 restaurants, Q2 2018- Q2 2020
3 Beverage Industry, August 2021
4 Beverage Daily, What to Watch in US Beverage in 2020 and Beyond, January 2020