Craft sodas, cold-brewed coffee and matcha tea are rising on restaurant menus, according to Datassential.
Starbucks’ Cold Brew Coffee is steeped in cool water for 20 hours, which results in a smooth, rich brew with notes of chocolate and citrus, according to Starbucks. “We began by asking what we wanted from Cold Brew,” said Michelle Sundquist, a member of the Starbucks research and development team. “Then we looked at qualities of the coffee created through the cold brewing process, and began to narrow in on the specific flavors we wanted. We landed on what’s now Cold Brew Blend. It combines coffee from Latin America and Africa, and is specially designed by the Starbucks coffee team for this brewing method.”
Dunkin’ Donuts recently introduced a pair of iced coffees in Oreo and Chips Ahoy! cookie flavors, joining a lineup of limited-time varieties that have included Rocky Road, white chocolate raspberry and pumpkin.
Chick-fil-A recently introduced for a Frosted Lemonade, which combines the chain’s signature fresh-squeezed lemonade with vanilla soft-serve. Chick-fil-A team members reportedly created the concoction during breaks. After Chick-fil-A heard about the combo, they refined the recipe, tested it in a few of their restaurants, then decided to launch the lemonade nationwide after positive customer feedback.
“We always knew customers loved our lemonade, and we always knew they loved Icedream,” said David Farmer, vice-president of menu strategy and development for Chick-fil-A. “But we never thought to combine the two to make a completely original treat that isn’t a milkshake or even a smoothie. Thanks to team members, this recipe will now be a delicious, low calorie treat that all customers can enjoy anytime.”
Kale, spinach and cucumber have increased by double digits on beverage menus in the past year, according to Datassential. Jamba Juice has added a pair of smoothies that feature kale. The Amazing Greens smoothie blends kale, lemon, peach juice, peaches, bananas and pumpkin seeds to provide 2.5 servings of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables. The Greens and Ginger smoothie combines kale, mango, peach, lemon and ginger puree and is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, B6 and vitamin K, according to the company.
“Consumers continue to become increasingly aware of the benefits of getting their daily requirement of fruit and vegetables and continue to trend toward beverages as a convenient and affordable way to do so,” said Julie S. Washington, chief brand and innovation officer of Jamba Juice.
Wendy’s recently introduced Honest Tea Tropical Green Tea, which is sweetened with organic fair trade cane sugar and includes hints of mango and pineapple. For the summer, the chain is offering Fruitea Chillers, hand-shaken beverages in orange mango and blueberry pineapple varieties that combine fruit juices and purees with the green tea.
Krispy Kreme has launched a line of frozen lattes for a limited time. Featuring a blend of espresso and cream topped with whipped cream, the lattes are available in mocha, vanilla latte and caramel latte flavors.
Steak n’ Shake launched a Nutella milkshake, blended with the namesake chocolate-hazelnut spread and topped with whipped cream, a cherry and a Nutella drizzle
Several restaurant chains have added house-made sodas. Sonic recently introduced a new line of made-to-order sodas, starting with sparkling filtered water as a bubbly base for infused layers of real fruit or fruit flavors, such as peach, raspberry and blackberry-pineapple.