How to Profitably Serve Cold & Sparkling Drinks in a Coffee Shop

The market for cold drinks is growing rapidly. From sparkling lemonades to cold brew tea and coffee, customers are increasingly thirsty for a more refreshing beverage than the traditional coffee shop offerings. And businesses that don’t serve these risk losing out to competitors.

But which cold and sparkling drinks should you be serving? And how can you do this profitably and efficiently?

Why Serve Cold Drinks?

While coffee shops could just set up a fridge with canned soft drinks, this is a lost opportunity. Meeting the demand for cold drinks with a well-planned menu opens up the potential for greater profit, brand strengthening, and a better experience for customers.

A Growing Demand For a Wider Menu

Consumers are shifting away from alcoholic and sugary soft drinks in favour of healthier, fresher options such as sparkling water and infusions.

This is particularly true of younger consumers. Health Survey for England data reveals that almost one in three people in England aged 16–25 doesn’t drink alcohol, compared to one in five in 2005. The shift away from alcoholic and sugary drinks gives other beverages such as cold brew coffee and tea and sparkling drinks an opportunity to grow.

Coffee shops tend to lead the way in innovation, so consumers will usually look for these more adventurous beverages there.

High Profit Margins

While there might be an initial outlay for new equipment, sparkling teas and lemonades are easy to make and the ingredients are relatively cheap.  For example, Sweetbird lemonade syrups can make a 12oz drink with just four pumps of syrup and some sparkling water.

Sweetbird lemonade syrups

Cold drinks can also increase profit margins because they can be produced in bulk and don’t require as much supervision as other specialty beverages. You could make the drinks in advance, in bulk.

Menu Variety

Creating new and exciting cold-drink menus can really showcase your brand’s personality, and keep customers and staff engaged.

Launching a line of sparkling lemonades for the summer can establish the brand as innovative and attract customers curious about the new flavours on offer. You can experiment with different ingredients such as loose-leaf teas, concentrates, syrups, crushed herbs, fruits, and more to create a diverse menu.

Birchall Iced Tea

Above: Birchall Iced Tea, follow this link for the recipe.

Providing it’s kept reasonably simple so it’s not overwhelming, customers generally appreciate an extensive menu. It means customers feel confident going to your coffee shop because they are sure that they will find something they like on the menu.


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