4 Key Beverage Trends for 2019

2018 will be remembered as the year of Hawaiian food, fancy teas, plant-based protein, and flowers as garnishes. 2019 is right around the corner, and restaurateurs everywhere are preparing themselves for the year to come by researching upcoming food trends. The forecast is already calling for sustainable food, beets, seed butters, and plenty of vegan eats. Knowing how to incorporate these popular items in your restaurant’s fare will be essential for your new year menu-planning. Today, we’d like to focus on one crucial aspect of your menu: 2019 drink and beverage trends.

Oat Milk (and Dairy-Free)

From January to July 2018, sales of plant-based milks increased 9%. The consumption of plant-based offerings (especially in beverage form) has been on the rise for several years now, and dairy substitutes such as almond, soy, and coconut milk are now mainstream. Oat milk, a great option for folks who wish to be dairy-free but have a soy or nut allergy, has started taking up more space on shelves in stores and subsequently in cafes and restaurants. If you offer lattes or cappuccinos at your location, be prepared to have guests asking if you offer oat milk in the coming year.

Sustainable Offerings

According to PreparedFoods.com, “the definition of sustainability is extending to encompass the entire product lifecycle.” In July of 2018, Starbucks made headlines worldwide when they announced plans to eliminate plastic straws entirely by 2020. Restaurants and consumers alike can expect to see drinks that offer a full sustainable lifecycle, from eco-friendly packaging and cups to the marketing language.

Decrease in High-ABV (Alcohol by Volume) IPAs

IPA (India Pale Ale beers) sales soared and peaked in 2015, and it once seemed like everyone was making them in their garages. While there has been some debate in popular craft beer blogs over the reality of the “IPA fatigue,” bars and restaurants should expect to be serving up more lagers, low-ABV beers, and session drinks with simpler flavor profiles.

CBD Drinks

CBD, or Cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis, has taken the restaurant and wellness industries by storm this past year. The reason? Proponents of the substance say CBD offers a therapeutic and calming effect that reduces pain and anxiety without causing the “mind-altering effects” that standard marijuana creates, as it does not contain THC. While researchers are still exploring CBD, and it faces some legal restrictions in certain states, expect to see this substance in lemonade, coffee, and even beer in the coming year.

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Jenna Calderara

Jenna Calderara

Jenna Calderara is the B2B Content Manager on the Marketing Team at Grubhub and LevelUp Agency. She is also a holistic nutritionist. When she’s not at work she enjoys cooking, blogging about wellness, and trying new Boston-area restaurants. Follow her on Instagram @jennacalderara or at @wellcanvas for nutrition and wellness!

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