As the top food manufacturing companies in Dubai know, keeping up with trends is an integral part of maintaining any successful establishment. While you don’t want to be changing your brand every season, you do want to make sure you aren’t getting left behind. Whether you own a neighborhood cafe, a sophisticated penthouse bar, or something in between, there are some aspects of beverage trends in Dubai that customers expect from the places they visit frequently.
Top Beverage Trends in Dubai
From wellness drinks to memorable experiences, hyper-local craft beers to an easy-to-read menu, read on for five beverage trends in Dubai that you can incorporate into your restaurant menu.
1. Wellness Drinks
There is no denying that “wellness” is no longer having a mere moment in the food and beverage industry; it is now a complete movement. Consumers – especially millennials – are always on the hunt for products and beverages that support their physical and emotional health. For example, they like drinks to include nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as be flavored naturally with ingredients such as superfruits, vegetables, and herbs.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that you incorporate several wellness drinks in your restaurant menu. Consider having a section highlighting “free-from” beverages that don’t contain unhealthy ingredients such as sweeteners and chemical additives. When speaking with your beverage ingredient suppliers, discuss what options they have for expanding your offerings of wellness drinks.
2. Non-Alcoholic Options
In line with the wellness movement that is taking place, many young people are looking for non-alcoholic options when they go out. While they may be forgoing the booze, they still want to have a delicious beverage. Thus, it is recommended that you offer a variety of non-alcoholic cocktails to balance out your bar menu. In these drinks, ingredients can include botanicals such as lavender, rose, and chamomile, as well as more decadent tastes such as chocolate, vanilla, and honey.
Of course, you can offer mocktail versions of popular cocktails (such as a pomegranate mojito mocktail), but you can also set about creating your own specialty mocktail. Not only will this create a new challenge for your bartenders, but it is also something you can market to potential customers. When you list it on your menu, be descriptive enough that it draws customers’ interest. If you make it sound (and taste) delicious enough, people will come to you simply to experience it!
Furthermore, there are a variety of bottled mocktails and non-alcoholic beers on the market that you can have sitting in the fridge. These are an ideal option if your eatery is more relaxed or doesn’t have a proper bar. However you choose to stock your supplies, you must have options for diners who are not drinking alcohol during that time.
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3. Hyper-Local Products
Across the food and drink industry, products and ingredients that are “hyper-local” are becoming more relevant to consumers. This is not only because they want to support companies in their area, but also because diners want to lower their carbon footprints.
When it comes to beverages, local craft operations and distilleries are popping up worldwide, ensuring that restaurants have local options to stock. Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may be able to partner with local gin or whiskey distilleries, vineyards, or other producers to source ingredients for your beverage menu.
For example, hyperlocal craft beer is growing into a massive market as consumers worldwide recognize the benefits of consuming this type of beer. Generally, craft beer has a more distinct taste from mass-produced beer in cans, while also using better ingredients. It’s also worth mentioning that small independent breweries typically add a little extra love and magic to their products, significantly improving the taste.
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4. Memorable Experiences
At the end of the day, the most important trend to incorporate into your restaurant menu is an experience. This is going to be different for every restaurant, but that is what will create your unique selling point. Today, consumers and diners want new experiences, specifically when it comes to their beverages. They want to sample new tastes from around the world as well as innovative pairings with food.
To curate the perfect experience, you first need to consider the journey you want your customers to go on and the one that they want to have. This requires you to consider all aspects of the experience, from the layout to the music, the seating, and the menu.
Additionally, customers want friendly, personalized service from someone who is as excited to serve them as they are to be there. They care about the presentation of their drinks and the ambiance of where they are consuming them. In other words, you need to offer them a memorable experience.
5. Upgraded Menu
No matter how many fantastic options you have on your menu, if your beverage menu isn’t appealing or easy to navigate, guests won’t be tempted, which can have a significant effect on sales. For this reason, you must spend some time upgrading your beverage menu so that you can highlight the trends you have incorporated and the items that make your menu stand out from the competition.
First and foremost, you want to give drinks their own menu so that the food offerings don’t overshadow them. This way, you can also ensure that each drink has an appropriate amount of space and is easy for customers to read. Depending on your branding, you may want to include pictures on the menu, which can often increase drink sales.
When it comes to designing your drink menu, be selective with the colors you choose, how you lay it out, and the manner in which you present pricing – all of these impact purchase decisions. However you opt to present the options, make sure you are listing the most expensive items at the top of the menu as this increases the chances that they will be ordered.
What do you think are some of the biggest beverage trends in Dubai at the moment? Is there anything else you are noticing or planning to incorporate into your menu? Let us know your thoughts and any relevant insights in the comments below!
Lamia Rochdi is the Marketing Manager at Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA. A successful family-owned business, Bell’s core competencies include customized solutions for the food and beverage industry, the household and personal care sector, and the perfume industry.