TRENDS IN BEVERAGES
Pumpkin spice lattes, cage-free eggs, organic produce, and electric vehicles are all great examples of markets that have been created through purchasing behavior. In the same way, consumers can reshape the specialty coffee industry. Next time you get bad service, let your almighty dollar do the talking. I mean, coffee shops gladly accept our money, but seemingly have no interest in our thoughts or ideas. Maybe they think our $1.00 tip is confirmation they’re doing something right. They couldn’t be more wrong!
But, when they readopted a policy of baking fresh bread every four hours, bakery sales jumped 35 percent. Feargal Quinn, founder of Superquinn, said “I listened, I learned, I discovered.” It’s time these coffee shops start listening. If I want a semi-stale muffin, I’ll just purchase it at the supermarket and sit it next to my Keurig machine at home. One great example of recent data falling upon deaf ears has to do with Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997) and alternative brewing methods.
Even though data from the National Coffee Association shows that daily consumption of espresso-based beverages among Millennials has nearly tripled since 2008, the specialty coffee industry insists on focusing on brewed coffee. Because of this, a handful of alternative brewing methods have recently surfaced. Some of the more popular ones are the cold drip, cold brew, and pour-over. Sure they’re new and unique, but I’m definitely not crazy about the extra cost...and Freshly baked scones and cinna- waiting three minutes for a pour-over mon rolls are a thing of the past, an doesn’t even seem worth my time. upcharge for breve lattes, only one or two brewed coffee varietals, and This is just one more way the coffee some even use non-homogenized milk industry is trying to convince the for lattes. They may know our name, public that something is great when but they have truly lost touch with it really isn’t. They stumble upon an what we want. As I mentioned, many innovation, call it “cool”, and use it coffee shops have stopped preparing as an excuse to place an upcharge on freshly baked goods in the store each our coffee. morning. No longer are we delighted with a deliciously scented cloud of lemon scones and cinnamon rolls. Instead, we get to choose from baked goods that have been thawed out overnight and all look exactly the same. The results of this change begs to be measured. According to a book by Fred Reichheld, when Superquinn (grocery chain in Ireland recognized for their amazing customer service) stopped baking fresh bread each morning, their bakery sales plummeted
Food & Beverage Magazine |January 2017
Coffee shops and politics have always gone hand in hand. Recently, market research has uncovered something else that goes hand in hand: Cooler Weather + Colorful Foliage + Pumpkin Spice Latte = Huge Sales. When the fall season arrived and the pumpkin spice latte went up on the menu, sales at my coffee shop would jump 25 percent. This is what happens when you give customers what they want. It’s all about exploiting opportunities whenever possible. Think about this... do you know when electric cars finally become a viable option for many consumers? According to GasBuddy. com, fuel prices jumped from $2.79 to $3.99 per gallon during the period of October 2010 through May 2011. At that exact moment (end of 2011), sales of plug-in electric vehicles took off at a nearly perfect 45-degree angle and have never looked back. Consumers needed a cheaper way to get around and electric cars provided exactly that. This is a perfect example of the power of market research. The electric vehicle simply needed to find an opportunity to present itself so they could exploit the hell out of it. Fortunately for the coffee industry, multiple opportunities are ripe and ready to be capitalized upon. Many of them tend to favor the independent coffee shops because they’re small enough to be flexible in this ever-changing environment.