Canadian Vending

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Beverage trends: finding balance

Beverage trends run hot and cold

May 26, 2017
By Colleen Cross


Like so much about the vending industry, choosing which beverages to stock is about balance.

It’s important to keep in mind your customers’ need for hydration and thirst for fun and interesting products, as research firm Euromonitor concludes in its 2017 report on soft drinks in Canada (see page 10).

In this special publication within Canadian Vending & Office Coffee Service Magazine, we take a look at current trends in the hot and cold beverages industry in Canada and what they mean for vending and office coffee service.

Veteran marketing consultant and writer Michelle Brisebois examines millennials’ relationship to coffee, including the role of the coffee house through the years and the ways in which this collaborating generation may be prompting a change in office design.


In “Cold drinks, hot sellers,” Taylor Richardson Fredericks delves into the ultra-competitive cold drinks landscape in Canada to find out what appeals to Canadians and their desire for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Speaking of health, if you find the sheer number of studies coming out on the risks and dangers of the food and drink we consume and the lifestyle habits we slip into a bit overwhelming, you are not alone. It seems everything from sugary drinks to trans fats to caffeine overload to sitting (it’s “the new smoking”) is up for close inspection and negative evidence can worry the public and unsettle this industry’s prospects.

We thought you might enjoy some research our industry can feel good about. Rose Simone gets the lowdown on some important recent coffee and tea studies that will be music to your ears.

We have tried to keep in view the many aspects of the non-alcoholic beverages category, which encompasses hot drinks like coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and cold options like soft drinks, iced tea, ready-to-drink coffee, energy drinks, juices, cold brew, milkshakes and bottled water. In an interesting twist, some of these divisions are coming down and the beverages melding together. For example, coffee and tea is percolating into soft drinks. Euromonitor points to a slew of ready-to-drink coffee and tea products, tea-based energy drinks and sparkling tea juices that illustrate this movement.

Keeping an open mind to what’s popular is just one way to pick up on future trends. If it is going viral, if you’re finding it in your kids’ backpacks, and most importantly, if food service is trying it out – think Starbucks and cold brew or Hortons ice lattes – it is worth watching.

We hope you enjoy reading Beverage Trends in Canada and find it sparks an idea or two for perking up your product offerings and doing some long-term planning for your business. We welcome your feedback.

Colleen Cross, Interim Editor, Canadian Vending & Office Coffee Service Magazine

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