The Top 10 Dispensed Beverage Trends at Convenience Stores


CHICAGO — Beverage options have never been more plentiful, and this includes dispensed beverages at convenience stores, where consumers have countless ways to make drinks their own.

Datassential, a food and beverage industry research and consulting firm, believes the following 10 trends are having the greatest impact on the category right now and will sustain into 2019:

1. The Most Likely Dispensed Beverages

Fountain soda drinks and hot coffee are at the top of the list.

2. Hot & Cold Growth Areas

Tea (iced and hot), higher-end juices and specialty coffee beverages have shown the fastest growth on convenience store dispensed beverage menus.

3. Coffee Is Evolving

Convenience is still of the utmost importance, but quality should not be neglected, as coffee shops are often chosen because of their superior-quality cups.

4. Consumers Like to Customize

C-stores offer more customization options than any other coffee segment, even coffee shops more flavor, creamer and sweetener options, etc. Flavored coffee creamer is the most-desired flavoring agent for the majority of those who prefer flavor.

5. The H2O Opportunity

Water has the most appeal at c-stores and are some of the trendiest beverages on the market today. Some of these waters are carbonated and contain nutrients, electrolytes and even protein. 

6. Healthier Options

C-store coffee sections should start carrying plant-based creamer options and other types of sweeteners such as sugar in the raw or agave syrup for health-conscious customers.

7. Watch Your Waste

While the primary c-store shopper is a bit older, there are plenty of millennials heading into the stores, who will likely demand a move away from plastic and Styrofoam.

8. Juice It Up

About half of consumers would be interested in ordering juice at other types of foodservice outlets, and convenience stores are a top-of-mind destination.

9. Fast-Growing Soda Flavors

Ginger lime, clementine and blood orange are among the fastest-growing flavors for soda currently.

10. Mix Up Beverage Dayparts

Unlike other foodservice segments, there aren’t many "rules" for what folks buy from c-stores and when. For example, at c-stores, consumers are more likely to get coffee later in the day or a soda/slushie in the morning than when they buy from other segments.  

Based in Chicago, Datassential brings clients real-world insights on flavor trends, foodservice and consumer packaged goods, globally.