A recent report highlights the potential opportunities for non-alcoholic beverages to the foodservice industry. Industry analyst Technomic’s 2018 Beverage Consumer Trend Reportshows that more consumers now than two years ago say that non-alcoholic beverage offerings are important when deciding where to go for a meal.

Foodservice establishments that can offer something unique and experiential will see themselves become more of destination visits for consumers.

“Beverages are increasingly important to creating memorable foodservice experiences,” says Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Brands are leveraging beverages to differentiate through signature drinks like mocktails, over-the-top options like extreme milkshakes, and better-for-you options. But, demand for innovation continues to rise and it will be critical to take beverages to the next level while still meeting demand for familiar favorites.”

A key finding from the report shows that 39% of consumers purchase four or more beverages per week from foodservice. Additionally, 23% of consumers say non-alcoholic beverages are important to them when deciding which establishments to visit. That number is up from 18% in 2016.

Beverages must taste good, of course, but consumers increasingly care about whether they look good. Retailers are stirring up eye-popping presentations in the beverage world, to great success. For example, the Crystal Ball Frappuccino at Starbucks and the Charcoal Latte at Chicago’s Werewolf Coffee Bar have been great moneymakers for their respective companies. They help to build buzz and traffic, which lead to increased sales.