The Coffee Competition Continues to Heat Up.
While hot beverages are still a pillar of today’s c-store business, the fact is that c-stores represent only about 11 percent in overall hot-beverage revenue and rank fourth in hot-beverage segments, behind limited-service coffee shops, quick-service restaurants and full-service restaurants.1 The success of coffee sales outside of the c-store realm is not only driven by the growing number of outlets for coffee drinkers to get their fix, but also by coffee shops capitalizing on consumers’ love for customizing what they eat and drink.
Drive Growth by Making Customized Coffee Part of Your Program
C-stores can attract untapped coffee lovers to their operation by offering them inspirational ways to customize and mix and match their beverages. By beginning with a quality coffee like Red Diamond’s High Altitude Coffee™, c-stores can ensure a strong foundation for adding on-trend types of sugars, garnishes and flavors. And the more variety, the better. According to a beverage product specialist for Kerry Insights, “For c-stores looking to gain a reputation for a more serious coffee program, (they should offer) a well-stocked (selection) of syrups, milks and non-dairy milk options, and spices.”1
You can also give opportunities for customers to create their own concoctions by mixing quality coffees such as High Altitude with products like seltzers, soft serve ice cream and LTO offerings. Reminding customers that they can enjoy their self-serve coffee iced is yet another great way to tap into a favored trend.
Cross-Promote Your Coffee to Energize AM Sales
The experts at Red Diamond® suggest utilizing bundling opportunities to increase both coffee sales and trial of additional products. According to Technomic, “meal complement” purchases account for about 70% of overall hot-dispensed-beverage volume. To play to the value and convenience that today’s consumers seek, bundling for breakfast in particular seems to be the ticket to more sales, especially among younger consumers. Technomic insights reveal that more than half of consumers ages 18 to 24 say that breakfast combo meals, often featuring a coffee beverage, are important offers at foodservice outlets and impact their decision to visit that operation. As c-stores upgrade their specialty coffee programs, they should also consider pairing with gourmet breakfast pastries to compete with the bakery-cafes and QSRs that have similar premium offerings.
Perk Up Your Coffee Sales Today
For c-stores to meet the ever-evolving demands and expectations of today’s coffee drinkers, it’s imperative that they seek out new and exciting ways to build excitement and drive traffic. Click here to learn more about products and programs that can help you do just that.
1. Source: CCSP Magazine. Retailers Ponder Consumers’ Next Cup of Everything. May 2016