Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fast food drink options to grow

Have you noticed the rapidly growing number of soft drink varieties at your grocery store and c-stores? Coke Blak, Berries and Cream Dr. Pepper, Diet Pepsi Jazz Black Cherry French Vanilla... the list goes on and on (and the names get longer and longer!)

And have you also noticed that at many fast food joints the choices are still limited to the same 5 or 6 choices that they've offered for 15 years?

Well, according to a Brandweek article I read today, the lack of choice at fast feeders is already changing quickly.

McDonald's is already testing coolers filled with a variety of bottled Coke products. Wendy's and Jack now offer bottled water. And Subway led the way be adding Coke coolers at 95% of their locations late last year.

Subway says half of their cooler sales are noncarbonated beverages. Dasani is the top seller (33%) followed by Coke Classic (17%).

So not only are the selections increasing, but the format, too: individual bottles of soda.

The exception, of course, is the drink selection king, Sonic Drive-Ins. Sonic clearly offers the largest selection of fountain drinks with 168,894 possible flavor combinations. According to the article, Sonic will be promoting themselves as the "The Ultimate Drink Stop" this year.

And while the chains increase the options, the manufacturers will continue to flood the market with more flavors. From the article:
Coke has been working with the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., to create new drink recipes for casual dining restaurants using its fountain drinks. "Coca-Cola Specialty Beverage" recipes include the Coca-Cola Hot Tamale (Coke, fresh lime, black pepper, Worcestershire and hot sauces) and other unusual variations on old favorites.

1 comment:

Daniel - Sioux City, IA said...

I don't know why I care about the lack of choices of diet sode at fast food chains.... I guess I'm just tired of having no other choice than Diet Coke. Give me diet root beer, diet Sprite, diet SOMETHING. If variety is the spice of life, then fast food chains are about as bland as you can get.