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Examining healthy beverages in the hospitality industry: evidence from Australia and New Zealand

Rob Hallak (UniSA Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Craig Lee (Department of Tourism, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Ilke Onur (UniSA Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 13 December 2019

Issue publication date: 9 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study that examines the sale and provision of healthy beverages across four sectors of the hospitality industry: restaurants, cafes, pubs and quick-service/takeaways. Specifically, the research investigates perceptions of demand for healthy products, challenges to distribution and strategies for increasing supply. In addition, business managers’ attitudes and behaviours with regard to offering healthy beverages, including probiotic beverages (i.e. kombucha, kefir, etc.), are explored, as these are among the fastest growing drinks category.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in 2018 through 400 telephone interviews with hospitality business managers from Australia (n=250) and New Zealand (n=150). Data were analysed through SPSS and Stata using descriptive statistics and Probit regression, with a binary outcome variable of “sell/ do not sell” probiotics to consumers.

Findings

Results suggest that the business’ decision to sell healthy beverages is influenced by perceptions of consumer demand, profit margins, shelf life of the products and if locally produced.

Originality/value

The findings from this exploratory study present new insights on how hospitality firms respond to consumer demand for healthy options, and the factors influencing their decision to incorporate healthier beverages in their menus.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Le Cordon Bleu Australia, the School of Management, University of South Australia, and Organic and Raw Trading Company Pty Ltd for providing the research funds for this project. The authors are also grateful to the hospitality business managers who donated their time and participated in this study.

Citation

Hallak, R., Lee, C. and Onur, I. (2020), "Examining healthy beverages in the hospitality industry: evidence from Australia and New Zealand", British Food Journal, Vol. 122 No. 2, pp. 365-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2019-0324

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited