Handcrafted Sodas Add Sparkle to Restaurant Beverage Programs

Handmade Soda trending in beverage programsSource: Restaurant Hospitality

Sodas mixed by hand are creating excitement in soft drinks, a class of beverages that has been slumping for years as sugary refreshers fall out of fashion and consumers embrace lighter options such as water, sports drinks and juices.

Mixed either with branded syrups or from scratch, housemade sodas typically feature on-trend flavors and natural sweeteners and ingredients, making them appealing to those who look askance at the high-fructose corn syrup of commercial soft drinks as well as alcohol avoiders. Some operators also leverage their sodas as unique cocktail mixers for their patrons who do drink. Thus handcrafted sodas can be an important element of a forward-looking beverage program.

In 2013, per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the United States declined to about 675 eight-ounce servings per person, the lowest level since about 1986, according to Beverage Digest, a trade journal.

Nevertheless, soft drinks still represent a huge market; Beverage Digest pegs it at about 8.9 billion 192-ounce cases.

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