Five Ways to Drive Summer Beverage Business

Summer can be a rough time for retail businesses. Some are overwhelmed with tourists and shoppers while others face a long, slow season. Whether you’re trying to attract new customers or create a more efficient summer sales model, here are five ways to drive more beverage business when the temperatures rise.

  1. New Seasonal Selections

Introducing seasonal new products is always a great way to generate buzz and new business. Whether serving frosty blended beverages or refreshing fruit-infused beverages like aguas frescas, limited-time seasonal offerings encourage impulse purchases and drive incremental sales. Made from fruit, water and sugar, aguas frescas (Spanish for “cool waters” or “fresh waters”) are ubiquitous in Mexico, and have been embraced by both big brands and small businesses in the U.S.

  1. Elevate Your Cold Coffee Offerings

While cold brew, nitro, iced coffee and frozen blended coffee are popular throughout the year, there is a surge in demand when the weather heats up. Consider expanding your cold coffee dispensed-beverage variety and creating signature offerings like cold coffee tonics. You’ll also want to make sure you have a few alternative milks on-hand to satisfying the growing demand for plant-based options.

If you have enough space, you might even consider installing a nitro tap for coffee. Introducing nitrogen to cold-brewed coffee gives it a slightly creamy, effervescent quality perfect for sipping all summer long. It also happens to be right on trend.

  1. Make June Iced Tea Time 

June is National Iced Tea Month, which is the perfect opportunity to promote your iced tea offerings and possibly even introduce new flavors, like Peach Lemon Green Tea and Watermelon Black Tea.

An iced tea promotion can be as simple as a month-long discount, a punch card that rewards customers for repeat iced tea purchases, or using your loyalty program app to offer a discounted or free beverage. If you have a variety of flavors, a passport-style punch card that customers can purchase at a discount, and then use to try each flavor of iced tea, is a great way to go.

  1. Educate Your Customers on Cold Coffee Styles

You and your baristas may know the difference between iced coffee, cold brew and nitro, but don’t assume your guests do. If you offer more than one style of cold coffee, be very clear about the differences on your menu board, website and even social media. Customers will appreciate the education and will be more comfortable and confident ordering exactly what they want. Plus, seeing a picture of an ice-cold coffee drink on social media might send thirsty people straight to your door.

  1. Offer Free Samples

When it comes to away-from-home beverages, people tend to order the same drink over and over. Even if you’ve piqued their interest with your new Ginger Pear Infused Beverage or Horchata Cold Brew Coffee, they may not be willing to forgo their tried-and-true cold brew to pay for something they’ve never tasted. So give them a taste!

Whether you’re promoting a new-to-you product or you just want to get your customers excited about trying something seasonal, offer free samples and be sure to use the weather to your advantage (e.g., give out really cold samples on a really hot day).

“What samples do is they give you a particular desire for something,” Dan Ariely, behavioral economist at Duke University, tells The Atlantic. “If I gave you a tiny bit of chocolate, all of a sudden it would remind you about the exact taste of chocolate and would increase your craving.” The conversion rate of the sampling efforts was between 25 and 30 percent.

With summer around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your summer beverage program. Start with one or two new tactics and go from there. From seasonal offerings to beverage loyalty program, there are a variety of ways to keep your summer business booming.