5 Specialty Coffee Trends to Help Your Bottom Line
With all the latest trends (and fads) out there–active carbon latte, nitro brew, cascara, cestine-chapelesque latte art, and many others– it can be confusing. We are going to boil down our top 5 that we see can best impact your bottom line. These aren’t the most important but they are some of the ones you may be overlooking which you can do something about this month.
1. Cold Brew Coffee:
This isn’t new but it is still trending and for good reason. Coffee shop owners like it because it’s brings in added revenue with minimal effort. The modern consumer likes it because they can get their dose of specialty coffee in a quick, on-the-go way.
There’s a market for coffee drinkers who want a pick me up but don’t have time to go to a coffee shop mid-morning or afternoon and that’s where the convenience of cold brew comes in. With a cold brew you can throw it in the break room fridge and get it whenever you want.
Find the right bottle you’ll be serving it in (keep in mind point #5). I’ve seen both plastic and glass work in different shops. You probably have a refrigerated section already but if not you can display them on the counter, at point of sale, and store them under the counter in the fridge for consumption. Get labels printed that complements your brand aesthetic and clearly identifies the product. If it’s flavored, or milk based, less sugar or an extract, it should be clearly recognizable at first glance.
There are a lot of options on how to make a cold brew, find the one that best fits your customer and begin creating this on-the-go sensation.
2. PopUp Shops:
These are trending ways that increase both sales and marketing and can be economical if you’re a bit creative. But this will take more work and forethought than adding cold brews to your shop. Whether it’s a kiosk or a retro fitted VW bus, popup shops create a buzz around your brand and can infuse vitality in your coffee brand which connects with a wider range of customers.
Once you have a popup shop in your arsenal, you can be creative in using it at local events, commercial areas or even private gatherings. Also you should consider having a seasonal approach at high traffic areas, for instance, Fourth of July or outdoor malls during the Holidays.
You’ll need a simpler menu and the tools/machines needed for those items. Clear signage for what you are offering is key since your traffic will pass by rather than go in to your shop. Create a setting that compliments your brick and mortar shop-get creative with reclaimed wood, or industrial style steel, or even potted plants which can be used to point back to the style of your shop and take them from a one off drinker to a returning customer. Make sure they know where your permanent shop is located before they take their drinks.
3. Cross Pollinating:
What about tapping into trends which your customer base is already invested in but isn’t directly dealing with specifically coffee? Say a local craft brewery? Or the all-organic, fair trade, vegan bakery on the other side of town?
A good partnership should fit with your customer base. It also should make you money on every transaction (you’re not selling the baker’s goods without a fair markup). And lastly, it should bring awareness to your brand. I say lastly because if you are only doing this just to raise brand awareness and not turn a decent profit on every purchase, it’s a marketing cost and not a true partnership.
Partnerships is a two way street and it is different than just carrying their stock, or their business carrying your coffee. Before engaging in a partnership, make sure their business’ compliments what your ethos and brand story is all about and in no way hurts it.
4. Sweet Alternatives & Non Dairy Milk
This can affect your bottom line but not always in a good way. There is a good solid slice of coffee drinkers who care about these items and they are probably in your target customer range. It is wise to have an alternative to dairy milk and processed sugar on hand.
But you’ll go mad if you try to run after the fads– coconut, oat, almond and what ever else comes up as the new best thing is mind boggling. Best advice: make sure you have at least one sweetener alternative and one dairy free milk alternative then move on. Unless your target audience consists mainly of vegan yogis you’re going to lose money throwing out expired alternatives if you try to have them all in stock at the same time.
5. Environmental Mindful Coffee Shops
The straw movement is still alive and well and is actually picking up steam in many places. Even though this seems like a no brainer from a business standpoint since it means not buying straws, thus saving money, you should move forward with caution. We can all spot a cheapskate from someone who actually cares about the environment. And it might be more expensive in the short term if you’re going to opt into buying paper straws, or environmental friendly cups but you are setting the trajectory of your café.
More important than saving a few pennies is authenticity in your business. Your customers care about this cause and it’s best to start caring about it too if you don’t already. In fact, you should think ahead of what other ways you can incorporate being mindful of our planet and caring for people. From environmental impact to innovative ethical sourcing practices, the coffee industry has been proven to have a culture which is at the forefront of caring about these issues. And if you don’t have a plan for navigating these concerns you may position your company for being obsolete on the specialty coffee scene.