Beverage offerings have exploded on menus, and cold foam is trending.
cold foam on coffee
cold foam with chocolate in beverage
cold foam with caramel
cold foam on tea
cold foam with pineapple
cold foam with mango and oats

According to Datassential, cold foam’s presence on U.S. menus has increased 140 percent over the last year. In the ever-expanding world of cold beverages, cold foam has emerged as a lasting trend thanks to its ability to enhance the drink experience. With the rapid growth of cold beverages, especially in major quick-service restaurants, cold foam fills the gap for a more enjoyable and healthier topping compared to traditional whipped cream. Its customizability, including plant-based options, aligns perfectly with evolving consumer preferences, making it both a trendy and lasting choice. “Once people try cold foam for the first time, they realize from a performance, taste, and a nutrition standpoint, it just hits all of those boxes,” says Shannon O’Shields, vice president of marketing at Rubix Foods. 

Evolution of Beverages

Sixty-one percent of respondents would like to see more specialty coffee LTOs from restaurants and convenience stores, according to Datassential. “There has been an explosion of growth in premium cold beverages and coffees,” O’Shields says. “Consumers’ expectations have changed simply because they’re seeing this more as its own sort of dining occasion.”

Consumers’ evolving expectations present a unique challenge for quick-service restaurants, which may not be equipped with the tools to make numerous specialty beverages. Simplifying some processes, like using an aerosol cold foam instead of hand-making cold foam to order, can make beverage offerings more accessible for operators and simple for back-of-house employees to make. 

Consumers Clamor for Cold Foam  

Seventy-five percent of consumers are more likely to drink iced coffee in the afternoon when it has Rubix cold foam on it, according to a Rubix Foods proprietary study. Cold foam is easily customizable, and it offers consumers a premium alternative to whipped cream. While whipped cream is a classic and delicious topping, it can be heavier than some consumers want.  

I think from a consumer standpoint, they are noticing the differences in performance of whipped cream compared to cold foam on a beverage,” O’Shields says. “I also think consumers love the fact that cold foams work on a variety of beverages—not just coffee—and that they can get a unique and complementary flavor experience with each sip.” 

Optimized Performance  

Many consumers and back-of-house employees have experienced the annoyance and waste caused by handmaking cold foam in a blender or mixer. Rubix scientists have developed the brand’s cold foam in aerosol cans to have optimized performance, consistency, and reduce waste. This not only helps operators save money but also ensures less training for back-of-house employees.  

Scientists at Rubix Foods have also taken into consideration the longevity of performance of their cold foam so it is optimized for take-out and delivery. “Consumers will order a beverage for delivery, it will show up at their house 30 minutes later, and they expect it to be as high-quality as it would be if they ordered it in-person,” says Luis Martinez senior vice president of R&D and commercialization, at Rubix Foods. “With those consumer expectations and behaviors, operators need to mitigate the changing performance of the beverage throughout the take-out experience. The delivery timing is important, and our cold foam actually has increased performance in those beverages—whether they’re hot or cold—for an extended period of time.”

Consistency is Key  

Ninety-one percent of consumers preferred Rubix Cold Foam over an in-market competitor, according to Rubix Foods Proprietary Research. This can be explained by a number of factors. “We looked at what other products are out there, whether it’s a competing aerosol cold foam or one that is made in the back of house using a blender, and we noticed inconsistencies beverage-to-beverage and order-to-order,” O’Shields says.  

Rubix Foods took this market research and paired it with insight from both consumers and operators to see what they most needed from cold foam, and developed a product to meet those expectations and solve those challenges. “Our cold foam encompasses a lot of the benefits and attributes consumers expect while addressing the challenges operators have with traditional cold foam,” O’Shields says. Consistent performance allows Rubix cold foam to be a convenient option for operators that is easy, fast, and delivers what consumers expect from cold foam on beverages. 

Increasing Sales with Add-Ons 

The economic benefits of cold foam are considerable. Brands can capitalize on the consumer’s willingness to pay a premium for enhanced beverage experiences. This heralds lucrative potential for operators in an evolving market. The progressive evolution of cold foam signifies its integral role in the contemporary and future beverage landscape. “When operators are able to get 24 beverages out of a can and are charging $1.25 for cold foam additions, that is huge margin potential for an operator,” O’Shields says. The amount people will pay for cold foam and other specialized toppings highlights the beverage category as a new premium market for operators and consumers. 

The exponential growth and ubiquity of cold foam on beverage menus exemplify its elevation from a fleeting fad to a sustained trend, transforming consumer expectations and experiences in the beverage industry. The innovative offerings of Rubix Cold Foam, celebrated for its optimized performance, versatility, consistency, and enhanced flavors, resonate with the contemporary consumer’s pursuit of premium, health-conscious, and experiential beverage choices, signifying its lasting impact on consumer preferences and the beverage market.  

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