It’s not realistic to think that convenience stores can compete with the made-to-order coffee shops, so it is important that retailers up their game on overall quality of coffee products, increase the variety of options available, and leverage the ability for customers to personalize their product with creamers, syrups, and other additives. If you offer it, they will come.
According to CSPDailyNews.com:
41% of consumers reported that they would be more likely to purchase hot beverages from convenience stores instead of restaurants or other foodservice outlet if the c-store offered a variety of flavored creamers.
37% of consumers would be more likely to purchase hot beverages from convenience stores if there were more syrups and add-ins available.
44% would visit c-stores over other foodservice outlets if there were a variety of milk products offered.
Keep reading as we outline some of the key coffee station essentials customers are seeking.
Variety is the spice of life! In the past, convenience stores only needed to offer a few roast options and an instant cappuccino machine to win over the coffee customer. Thanks fo coffee shops and Quick Service Restaurants, convenience stores now need to offer more variety to accommodate the wide range of customers purchasing coffee.
Here are just a few of the daily options your c-store should have available:
- Light Roast
- Dark Roast
- Flavored Roast
- Featured Flavor or Limited Edition
- Tea Iced / Cold Brew
- Made-by-You Espresso
It is unrealistic to think that you can please every customer all the time. Review the latest trends and previous sales to determine some of the most popular add-ins that customers are seeking to make sure you have them readily available and easily accessible. Make sure that your coffees and additives are properly labeled with attractive flavor identifiers.
- Creamers, Sweeteners and Sugars
- Flavored Syrups
Make sure that your coffee supplies covers not just the basics, such as cups, sleeves, and stir sticks, but items necessary for personalization, including cinnamon and nutmeg shakers; and plenty of different creamers.
Never underestimate the power of visual communication. Clearly label airpots and creamer carafes to increase the likelihood of a customer giving it a try. An unlabeled carafe sitting on a counter probably won’t be picked up by anyone, but an appropriately labelled one–even if it seems like a more exotic flavor than a customer is used to–will at least get people to try it.
Relocate, Reimagine and Resize
Is your coffee station still located on the back wall of the store without sufficient signage? Relocate now for it to be front and center. If relocation is not possible, put in the extra money to increase visibility with signage–the further away from the front door, the larger the sign will need to be in order to grab a customer’s attention. Reimagine the endless possibilities that a greater coffee service area can offer your customs; speak with your distributor about flavors and options you may not have considered offering. Resize the coffee station to accommodate the wide variety and customization customers are seeking–even if that just means using the vertical space more efficiently with stacked condiment stations which’ll allow you better use of the horizontal space for more coffee flavors!
A clean and well-organized coffee station will reward you! Take time during the day to wipe down countertops, sticky syrup pumps, and airpots. Make sure cups, lids, stir sticks and jackets are fully stocked and well organized for quick grab-and-go.