The hotel industry is experiencing steady growth. With that trend, hotel operators still have to balance guest satisfaction with allocated budgets in order to remain competitive. This can be quite a challenge without a strategic sourcing plan.

Operators need to always be mindful of consumer trends and always be looking for new menu items, fresh beverage ideas and unexpected amenities. Strategic sourcing allows operators an ability to provide enhanced value to their customers.

For instance, some hotel operators found that one easy change — revamping their breakfast beverage selections — resulted in a 10 percent savings on their beverage budget. Instead of just offering juices, they replaced some choices with flavored vitamin water.  Their customers were delighted with new option. With limited marketing investment, the operation was able to save money and deliver a pleasant surprise to their guests.

It’s always a good idea to try new things and engage your guests by asking for their feedback. They like to share their opinions. By soliciting their insights, the operator develops a hotel experience aligned to the guests’ expectations.

Tastes have changed. You can see it in any retail store. People want new and different flavors; the same old standards have become mundane. Sales of traditional juices, like apple and orange, are pn the decline. Customers are seeking out new and exotic flavors like mango-orange and guava. Plus, consumers are increasingly more health conscious, favoring flavored waters over juices. An operator can parlay the trend into a cost saving opportunity.

People are currently drinking 21 gallons of bottled water per year, according to an article on That is a lot of water. In addition, consumers are drinking 37 gallons of other flavored and enhanced waters, such as Coca-Cola’s vitaminwater.

Michael Bellas, CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp., an industry tracker, predicts all the water varieties could overtake soda consumption within a decade.

Doctors, health advocates and government officials have sparked more interest in these types of beverages with their focus on preventing obesity and other health issues. Consumers are choosing healthier drinks, but they also want something more than your typical juice selections.

You should consider switching juice to flavored water. Most hotels offer a complimentary breakfast, which typically includes everything from bagels and eggs to a full breakfast bar. What is a better demonstration that you understand your customers than providing them with products that they prefer? Changing your juice to a water selection does not require any major change.

You can use strategic sourcing to discover new flavors without overspending your budget. Why not test a variety of flavors? Try strawberry kiwi, lemon-lime, blueberry pomegranate, grape raspberry, watermelon, or even mojito limeade. There are so many exciting flavors to choose from and consumers are demanding exotic flavor combinations

Working with a strategic sourcing group opens the door to products, trends and best practices that can boost guest satisfaction and cost savings. A procurement group like Source1 Purchasing can help you identify and promote new products as a function of access and experience

When guests find something new they like in their experience at your hotel, whether it is flavored water, designer amenities, plush towels, it makes the experience more memorable and increases the likelihood of loyalty.

Source1 Purchasing works collaboratively with customers to ensure access to the latest industry trends, 500+ national contracts and ideas that translate to cost savings