NEW YORK — Nearly seven in 10 Americans say they actually prefer straws over forks or spoons when it comes to dessert. In a poll of 2,000 adults, 69 percent say they’re likely to order drinkable desserts rather than ones for eating.
On average, respondents started ordering dessert drinks around the age of 22. However, 14 percent made the switch during adolescence (age 15 or younger). While one respondent simply wants “an easier way to enjoy dessert,” 44 percent will reach for a dessert drink specifically to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tiger Sugar, the poll reveals that 76 percent of respondents claim to have a sweet tooth. Four in five millennials have a fondness for sweets, more so than any other generation.
How often do you indulge in dessert?
In fact, 88 percent of millennials like to eat dessert after every meal, compared to only 38 percent of baby boomers. When asked which foods they’d categorize as desserts, respondents cited a variety of both edible and drinkable options. Forty-four percent chose ice cream and 35 percent chose custard.
However, 34 percent believe milkshakes are a dessert and 26 percent even categorize bubble tea as a dessert beverage as well. The most popular non-alcoholic drinks are coffee (65%) and water (64%), but dessert drinks like milkshakes (58%) and bubble tea (54%) are catching up.
When it comes to flavors, respondents were most likely to prefer traditional dessert flavors, like chocolate and vanilla, compared to fruity ones (29% vs 18%). Even so, 80 percent are likely to add sugar to their drink and another 65 percent are likely to add a shot of flavor.
“By bridging the gap between traditional boba tea with bold, modern tastes, people are finding their new favorite drink,” says Shirley Yeung, a spokesperson for Tiger Sugar, in a statement. “No matter what their flavor of choice is, people are adding a little sugar and a little sweetness to their lives.”
Keeping up with the trends
More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents have noticed an increase in the popularity of dessert drinks.
For example, bubble tea gained more attention (28%) than other consumable trends mentioned in the survey, like poke bowls (24%) or matcha (25%). When it comes to trying a new trend, respondents dive in because they like to try new things (39%) or if family and friends recommend it (35%).
Forty-eight percent have stood in a line for over an hour to try a trendy food or drink. In fact, almost seven in 10 (68%) admit they’ve tried a dessert drink to feel “on trend.”
“While drinks like bubble tea have a longer history in Asia and Eastern countries, the U.S. has seen a recent surge in popularity,” Yeung says. “And while people may try a dessert drink to feel ‘on trend’, they may just find their new favorite.”