'Tis The Season For Holiday Beverages

LOS ANGELES , November 12, 2014 () – The holiday season is upon us. That means Thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas lights and holiday beverages. With potential customers often out and about during this time period, quick-service restaurants and coffee shops are rolling out the seasonal drinks to lure in shoppers for quick refueling stops and possible in-store purchases.

The holidays mean big business for these companies. Last year, Dunkin’ Donuts got 27% of U.S. revenue from the fourth quarter, when it sold red velvet lattes and salted-caramel hot chocolates. Starbucks said its holiday lineup in 2013 helped boost its revenue 12% in the three months through December.

That’s why Starbucks began offering today its Chestnut Praline latte—its first new holiday beverage in five years and a drink that took three years to make—in its U.S. and Canadian stores. The company is also bringing back caramel brulee coffees, and recently announced the return of its eggnog lattes amid public backlash for taking it off the holiday menu.

It’s also why you’ll see Dunkin’ Donuts offering Sugar Cookie Lattes and Snickerdoodle Coffee lattes. And why you’ll see Coffee Bean offer Winter Dream Tea lattes and Red Velvet cocoa. And why you’ll find peppermint mocha lattes at just about any Dunkin’ Donuts, Coffee Bean or Starbucks you walk into.

The holidays are known as a season of giving. And the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts of the world are using these special beverages in the hope that you give to them.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.

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