Snacking has always been a part of daily life. People say they snack to treat themselves, give themselves a break or provide self-care such as relieving stress or weight control. So, you might ask, is there anything different about today’s snacking habits?
Why yes there is. Snacks have changed and expanded, and more than ever they include BEVERAGES, either alone or with food. Keying into this new category can certainly increase traffic, sales and profits.
To win at snacking, research from Mintel indicates that the time of day has a strong impact on what consumers turn to. So, concentrating on the 2-5PM timeframe can gain sales at what used to be a slow-down in traffic.
During the afternoon snack, consumers seek:
- Healthy snacks (29%)
- Sweet snacks (23%)
- Energizing snacks (22%)
We know that beverages get more than their fair share of the afternoon pick me up. Because consumers seek both indulgent and healthy offerings, it is important to menu many types of beverages. Thirst Ease drink mixes come in regular and low calorie, while Lite Delight is sugar free. So, your beverage needs are covered.
Some major chains are profiting from these beverage snacking trends. Last summer, Krystal’s Lemonhead Slushie was their most successful frozen beverage LTO to date and accounted for more than 60 percent of all slushie sales. This year Krystal launched another frozen beverage program for the summer. This time the treat is a hybrid drink fusing Lemonade, Grape or Fruit Punch with Sprite, crushed ice and soft serve vanilla ice cream for innovative frosted slushies.
Sonic Drive-in features an everyday happy hour on their drinks and slushes where consumers get half price on these items from 2-4 PM. Taco Bell’s Happier Hour® from 2-5PM offers $1 sparklers and blended beverages like their Watermelon Candy Freeze.
Since beverage snacking is definitely trending upward with so much innovation in this space, why not add more sips to your menu?