The pandemic has caused a sea change in consumer routines and demands, but one thing that hasn’t wavered is consumers’ love for their morning cup of coffee.
While some may have opted to make their own brew at home after the pandemic’s onset, a number of factors indicate increasing demand for joe on the go. According to Technomic’s Q4 2020 C-Store Consumer Marketbrief, most consumers who commuted to work before the pandemic and who may have been working from home for some time are now traveling to and from work again. Fuel customer conversion is up, with 50% of consumers saying they enter the c-store nearly every time they stop for gas, and consumers’ financial outlooks are continuing to improve. As of Q4 2020, 42% of consumers said they expect their financial situations to improve, compared to 25% in April 2020.
Each of these factors have proven beneficial for the convenience store’s self-serve beverage section, as most consumers report purchasing dispensed beverages at least as often as they did before the pandemic, with 20% saying they’re purchasing them more often.
The quality quotient
While consumers are bringing changed expectations and heightened standards, quality continues to top the list of current consumer priorities. Technomic’s Q4 2020 Marketbrief reports that high foodservice quality is the No. 1 reason consumers say they’ve been visiting the c-store more often in the past month.
Of course, offering great-tasting coffee is a major piece, too: Especially as consumers minding their budgets resume their typical work routines, many may be seeking an affordable alternative to their typical coffee shop without sacrificing the barista-made flavor they love. In addition, consumers value efficiency, especially during busier hours such as the morning rush.
Utilizing top coffee-making technologies gives retailers an opportunity to deliver on both of these priorities simultaneously. Bean to cup and espresso-based superautomatic machines from Franke Coffee, for example, offer the coffee-shop favorites consumers love, including bean to cup coffees; espresso drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos; and even hot chocolate. Intuitive self-serve technologies ensure no unnecessary slowdown at the coffee bar even on the busiest mornings: With user-friendly multimedia touchscreens, these machines allow consumers to serve up their customized coffee in seconds.
Efficiency cuts costs
Retailers must keep back-of-house priorities in mind as they select a coffee machine, too. Franke Coffee’s automatic cleaning systems help to keep labor low even as the pandemic necessitates extra-thorough sanitization, and on-demand brewing minimizes waste even as demand remains unpredictable throughout the day—in other words, there’s no having to throw out entire carafes of brewed coffee.
Solutions from Franke Coffee prioritize ease of use both for the consumer and for c-store employees, even offering after-sale support to maximize reliability and minimize downtime. Franke partners with c-store retailers every step of the way: Offering expert advice to help retailers choose their best-fit solution, employee training to keep operations running seamlessly and regular maintenance checks from a national service network to keep machines up and running smoothly.
For retailers looking to meet consumers’ high standards for coffee quality and efficiency in the store while continuing to keep costs and labor low, Franke Coffee machines offer an excellent solution. To learn more about how solutions from Franke Coffee can help c-store retailers maximize coffee-bar profitability, click here.
This post is sponsored by Franke Coffee Systems Americas