This season, hot cocoa is not just a beverage, it’s a flavor! From donuts and cinnamon rolls to even beer, this flavor is everywhere. For the past several seasons, Pumpkin Spice has reigned as the preferred flavor but recent Google searches show a spike in searches for hot cocoa. For operators, this is a perfect time to offer a limited time offer. According to Datassentials, 78% of consumers say they are interested in purchasing seasonally inspired LTOs (Datassentials 2018).
New Flavor, Who’s This?
Lovers of the new “it” flavor describe it as chocolatey with a hint of creamy marshmallows. But to get more technical, cocoa is made from cacao and mixed with sugar and powered milk. Compared to hot chocolate, hot cocoa tends to come out sweeter and as a thinner liquid.
Hot Cocoa Forever!
The origins of hot cocoa date back thousands of years to the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures. Before going to battle, Aztec warriors drank cacao and it is believed Tenochtitlan ruler, Montezuma II drank as many as 50 cups per day! When missionaries took this drink back to Europe, the Spaniards sweetened the drink with cinnamon, sugar and other spices. More recently, the United States third president, John Adams, enjoyed this sweet treat (Yahoo 2018).