Chain Beverage Buzz

Food Business NewsCapitalizing on Snack Appeal
Big growth comes from small packages, according to new research from Packaged Facts, which reports snackable items are rising on restaurant menus and retail shelves. Two-thirds of consumers snack between meals, up from 62% in 2004, and 39% of consumers eat several small meals throughout the day, up from a third of respondents a decade ago. Snacks appeal to today’s on-the-go consumer, who is less likely to plan days around traditional mealtimes. MORE>>

Shanken News DailyWhisky Advocate Names Beam Suntory As Its Distiller Of The Year
Whisky Advocate magazine announced that Beam Suntory has been named its 2014 Distiller of the Year. Go to Whisky Advocate for the full story. The magazine named its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, which had two winners: Colin Scott, master blender for Chivas Regal and Royal Salute Scotch whiskies, who has spent 41 years in the Scotch industry; and Duncan McGillivray, who began his career in Scotch whisky in 1974 and retired this year as general manager of Bruichladdich. MORE>>

ChristmasRestaurant Chains Open on Christmas 2014
With each passing year, restaurant owners and operators are discovering that an increasing number of consumers have a growing appetite for something other than the traditional Christmas meal at home.  If you aren’t planning on cooking,’s Christmas dining guide lists the restaurant chains that will be closed and open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. MORE>>

Red RobinRed Robin Serves Up The Cure Burger
Suffering from an in-law overdose? Recovering from a shopping overload? Planning on feeling a little fuzzy? With more than a third (35 percent) of Americans* planning to drink on New Year’s Eve already predicting a hangover on New Year’s Day, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (Red Robin) has the perfect remedy for guests in need of some relief this holiday season! To ring in the New Year, the Gourmet Burger Authority will unveil The Cure Burger, available by request only at participating restaurants nationwide beginning January 1. MORE>>

Technomic BlogAdult Beverage Consumers: Flush Yet Frugal?
Consumers are feeling more financially comfortable this holiday season, which is good news for the adult beverage industry. Recent research from Technomic and American Express finds that two-fifths of consumers say they are “living comfortably” or “very well off,” up from about one-third of consumers surveyed in the same month last year. With gas prices down and consumer confidence trending up, many retailers, restaurateurs and bar owners are optimistic that alcohol sales will end the year on a high note. MORE>>

beerCraft beer boasts fastest revenue growth of all alcohol segments
Within the past decade, the shift in consumer demand for variety and “local” beverages has resulted in a craft beer revolution in the United States. The craft segment has increased double digits in each of the past three years, despite the flat performance of the overall beer category, according to analysts. And as wine and spirits work to steal share from the beer category, craft beer has been one of its “saving graces,” says Jared Koerten, senior analyst for Euromonitor International, Chicago. MORE>>

money21 States to Increase Minimum Wage in 2015
As the debate about what constitutes a “living wage” continues among lawmakers across the country, restaurant operators will see minimum wage increases in 21 states, starting Jan. 1, 2015. Some increases are the result of legislation enacted in 2014, and others are increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index or inflation. MORE>>

Lean Low Calorie VodkaLean Beverages Introduces Lean Vodka, a Lower-Calorie Spirit
With holiday celebrations nearly here, millions of Americans will be looking for ways to indulge without the bulge. That’s what makes Tampa-based Lean Beverages’ launch of their much-anticipated line of low calorie, herbal-infused vodka exciting to the health and wellness community. Lean Vodka is an ultra-premium spirit infused with herbs and natural flavors, with about 1/3 fewer calories than other vodkas. MORE>>

sodaPutting Some Pop in Soda
Soda sales aren’t exactly bubbling at restaurants these days. In fact, they’ve been declining for years. Despite that, there’s fizz remaining in carbonated beverages as operators look toward craft sodas, new technology, homemade beverages, and creative concoctions to put effervescence into their sparkling libations. MORE>>

FSRGuestMetrics Reports Rise in Food and Beverage Sales
GuestMetrics, which collects check-level data from point-of-sale systems at more than 10,000 restaurants, reports trends for the four-week period that ended Nov. 30. Traffic in the on-premise channel was down 0.1 percent, which continues the improved trend over the past three months vs. the approximately 1.5 percent traffic decline during the first half of the year. The improved trend was attributed to the benefits of lower gas prices and improved consumer sentiment. MORE>>