Analysts, operators optimistic about post-recession beverage sales

The prevailing wisdom that people turn to drink in tough times was disproved during the Great Recession, as tight-fisted consumers spurned all beverages, including alcohol, when they ate out. But, in a positive sign for restaurateurs, consumers appear to be thirsty again.

According to new data from market research firm The NPD Group, after two years of 
declining servings for nearly all beverage categories, seven of 15 beverage categories recorded growth in the quarter ended in J

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