Snow is far from guaranteed this Christmas, but what we can count on is the flurry of Christmas inspired drinks that will hit the high-street as soon as the Halloween cobwebs are swept away.
With data from Allegra stating that consumers are willing to pay up to 12.4% more for a Christmas themed drink, the benefits of getting in the festive spirit are palpable. However, with such stiff competition it’s essential to be organised to ensure that increased footfall and tricky to prepare innovations don’t lead to longer waiting times. It’s also equally important to ensure that stock levels are maintained to keep consumers coming back for their favourite festive beverage.
Lee Hyde, Beverage Innovation Manager at MONIN UK, shares his top tips and favourite seasonal recipes to help spread the festive cheer this Christmas.
- Make the most of the festive season – Christmas offers a relatively short promotional period, but does provide a great opportunity to capitalise on ‘get it before it’s gone’ sales. Adding a range of concept led beverages and limited time offers are essential during this period, but it’s best to keep it simple. Too much choice can make the decision making process confusing for customers and slow down service, adding to customer wait times. Focus on a few key beverages that really encapsulate what Christmas means at your venue.
It’s also important to ensure, as much as possible, that drinks on seasonal menus can be adapted to become suitable for dairy free diets, so customers choosing milk alternatives can enjoy the same festive experience.
- Capture the imagination – the festive season signals a prime opportunity to get creative and think outside of the box to encourage incremental spend. Drinks such as ‘Frosty the Snowman’ or ‘Rudolph’ are good examples of concept drinks which help to capture the imagination, create atmosphere, tap into consumer nostalgia and embrace the seasonal spirit.
Add an extra dimension to a concept led menu by tapping into the current trend for customisation. Consumers enjoy adapting recipes to personal taste and increasingly expect to be able to do so out of home. Providing a tray of goodies such as chocolate drops, pretzels and marshmallows will deliver against this trend by allowing consumers to have a bit of fun creating their own ‘Frosty the Snowman’ or ‘ Rudolph’. This approach can also provide great Instagram content, helping to drive awareness of the business.
- Tis the season… to give back – consumers often feel particularly charitable during the festive season and are keen to incorporate charitable donations within their seasonal spend. Consider including a festive drink on menus that has a percentage of its sales donated to a charity.
- Tradition vs. innovation – Embrace Christmas traditions and replicate them across your menus in innovative ways. Consider providing an advent calendar style menu that offers a different Christmas inspired drink in the lead up to the big day.
Additionally, while decoration is important, the flavours, serve ware, garnishes and the name of the drink all contribute to the overall experience. Think about incorporating traditional flavours such as MONIN Frosted Mint syrup, MONIN Gingerbread syrup and MONIN Winter Spice syrup as well as MONIN Black Forest syrup, MONIN Salted Caramel syrup and MONIN Praline syrup in a range of hot chocolates, coffees and even hot lemonades.
Don’t forget to showcase your offering – POS, social media and menu boards are all vital to raising awareness of the Christmas menu.