Like so much of what happened in 2020, the year in beverage trends started out pretty normally, with lighter drinks for resolution makers and a continued spread of non-dairy milk substitutes, followed by some indulgent drinks for Mardi Gras, along with energy drinks, although the honey-lavender trend was a bit of a surprise.
Then everything went off the rails as the coronavirus pandemic struck. Jack in the Box sought to offer extra energy with its Boosted Coffee while Smoothie King and others started offering drinks that promised to boost the immune system.
With the breakfast daypart drying up as people stopped commuting, Dunkin’ started pushing afternoon drinks with its Refreshers line, and Peet’s Coffee followed up with its Tea Shakers.
Relaxed liquor laws allowed for portable cocktails in bags.
Fat Straws noticed the Dalgona sensation that happened during quarantine and decided to monetize that, while other chains made other attempts to attract consumers’ attention, such as teaming up with MTN Dew or TikTok celebrities.
Click through to see some of the most on-trend, surprising and creative beverages at chains in 2020.