Rising Coffee Habits Mean Opportunity For Retailers

Stereotypes aside we know that all brits love a cuppa. Our hot drinks consumption is growing, last year BCA revealed that the UK’s coffee consumption had soared to 95 million cups a day – up from 70 million in 2008. High street coffee shops have relished this opportunity by keeping up to pace with changing consumer tastes, but can retailers learn a thing or two? The category has seen evolving lifestyles and concerns about health cause many suppliers to make decisions about new products and how they market them. Today, we look at the opportunities that exist for the category and see how these can benefit retailers from on-the-go coffee to boxed tea bags on their shelves.

The Value Of The Tea Shopper

Tea shoppers are an incredible asset to retailers given their loyalty to brands but also through their likelihood to purchase complementary goods. Bread, milk, biscuits and cakes are all complimentary goods to tea and should be placed within reach of your tea display shelves. Deciding what to stock is vital when dealing with the tea shopper. Finding a balance between stocking those old reliables while also not neglecting a selection of different teas is essential. Stocking up on well-known brand names is an important part of playing the tea game with 87% of shoppers agreeing with this statement.

With a rise in health concerns over many food & drink categories, tea remains a relatively healthy category with a focus on herbal teas. Green tea has been growing year on year many large brands have added these ranges to their portfolio.

Driving Growth In Coffee Category

Although tea drinkers may be more brand loyal, coffee lovers are known to be more experimental with their buying decisions. The ongoing trend of premium coffee brands and bringing the coffee shop into your home has seen the rise in sales of roast and ground coffee. Suppliers have already reacted to this trend by releasing more premium products launched with new flavours. Retailers must remember that the coffee category is still seen as a luxury good and consumers may often pay more for premium brands.

Consumers are now using coffee as an ‘indulgent treat’ with their attraction to coffee shop style drinks as they offer more convenience out of home. In this instance consumer are prepared to pay higher pence per cup which supports the idea of this ongoing trend of “premiumisation”.

Advice From Coffee Shops To Retailers

For many consumers convenience and taste are the two combining factors in their decisions about where to get their daily cuppa. Customers often splurge and treat themselves when lining up in coffee shops to make their order. Displaying a range of cakes, chocolates and complimentary goods is an effective way to drive sales while customers wait for their hot beverages. “As customers are already treating themselves to a cup they often splurge further and get something on the side.”

There seems to be a rise in more specialised hot drinks in coffee shops with the advice to retailers to employee baristas in order to expand on their menu for their on-the-go options in store. “Coffee shops run seasonal promotions with new recipes to drive sales this could be something that stores consider.”

Lastly, brand loyalty continues to be the topic of the category as coffee shops speak about coffee as a destination category – customers are willing to travel to get their cuppa. This is why paying attention to social media and trending hashtags in the category could pay off for retailers.

Alternative Gaining Ground With Youth

Youth shoppers are now turning away from cows milk for a plant based alternative according to researched released by Mintel. 33% of British youth consumers have admitted trying plant-based milk alternatives this year as this statistic has seen a rise since 2012. A rise in health concerns about people suffering from a lactose-intolerance has resulted in a fall in dairy consumption among young adults. Standard milk is still the number one choice however the percentage of fresh milk drinkers has already fallen by 6% in just one year.

Ethical concerns over animal welfare is also a cause of this rise in plant based alternatives. Younger consumers have raised concerns over the dairy farming’s negative impact on the environment and are seeking products which guarantee sustainable farming. They are even less concerned about price by being more in favour of “products bearing an on-pack statement of how many days the animal used in the milk’s production spent outside.”

To summarise, by analysing the data collected we can see that a drive in growth is due to a change in consumer taste and a premiumisation of the coffee & tea categories. Similarly, youthful shoppers are turning to more environmentally-friendly brands and healthier options such as green & herbal teas.

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