Branded Beverages Starbucks Evolution Fresh custom printed foodservice packaging

This video comes to us from Euromonitor International and offers a great introduction and detailed account of the importance of branding and foodservice operations, most notable for creating brand recognition and awareness in the fast casual and quick serve food channel.

Globally, Consumer foodservice operators branded products to be easily recognizable: the Whopper or the Big Mac for example. However, soda fountains usually contain Coca-Cola or Pepsi products, products with no brand connection to the outlet. Michael Schaefer, head of consumer foodservice research at Euromonitor, states the picture of beverage branding is shifting. Starbucks was the forerunner in beverage branding, pioneering the Frappuccino drink, and thus branding all of their beverages ever since. While we will never see Coke or Pepsi branded drinks leave outlets, Schaefer states that branded beverages might give consumers one more reason to go to a restaurant.

Beverages: The Last Frontier of Branding

If your interested in a great read, we’ve transcribed this great video below for your reading pleasure…

What I think is really interesting (particularly in markets like the US) I think more and more fast food chains and in particular chains of all types, with operators of all types, are starting to realize that beverages are the last frontier of branding. So you can walk into a fast food chain and see a menu full of branded products– items such as the Whopper and the Big Mac- (whatever you like really, iconic products) but you’ll walk over to the fountain drinks and you’ll see mostly Coca-Cola or Pepsi products, obviously popular products people want but which have absolutely no connection to the branding of the fast casual chain in question and I feel we are slowly, slowly starting to  see that picture shift. The real leader in this aspect has been Starbucks, they’ve really moved quite a bit in recent years to take control of the branding of all of their beverage (not just coffee) you saw that several years ago as they rolled out Frapuccino that was a genuine Starbucks brand to widen their appeal beyond their core coffee products. It has been a huge success (what they did late last year was) complete the purchase of Evolution Fresh , a company which has a new process of producing fresh juices. What this is going to do overtime is give Starbucks their own branded product in the juice space, and it’s a three prong strategy which they’ve outlined. Firstly, rolling out this product in Starbucks stores which has a huge outlet footprint in United States that drives consumer acceptance and product awareness. Then they’ve talked about using that as a foundation for rolling out these products through the retail channel , thus strengthening their presence in the retail channel and strengthening their presence and brand awareness in the retail market while also expanding the range of Starbucks branded products in foodservice space. And then finally there’s also been some talk of actually rolling out Evolution Fresh branded foodservice outlets, juice bars if you will.

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Starbucks foray into the juice/smoothie bar arena, you can see this in a way that Starbucks in particular has used beverages to broaden their brand and to ensure that when we walk into a Starbucks you are never not interacting with the Starbucks brand. I think moving forward we are going to see a lot more of this. Not to say were suddenly going to see an end to branded fountain beverages at McDonald’s or Burger King, I mean absolutely not. I think going forward we are going to see a lot more efforts which kind of create these real branded, as I say, destination beverages that gives people one more reason to come into the store that helps at the chain apart To really reinforce your branding statement. What is interesting about the evolution fresh product and what Starbucks has said is that this isn’t just a juice It is an entirely new process for pasteurizing juice using high-pressure pasteurization which is said to preserve their flavor, that quality of fresh juice much longer. So in actuality this isn’t just a juice product it is a highly premium juice product that dovetails very nice with Starbucks stated branding of being an upscale destination for premium branded beverages and this is what I think every chain is really looking for. You have the branding on the menu, you have all of these foods and you increasingly have outlets which are designed to reinforce and create awareness of your brand every step of the way and I think going forward beverages will really be the last component to this with chains really investing in creating the next big branded beverage.