A Better Brew
Out-of-home tea and coffee sales continue to rise. Take Stock shows you how to add value to the humble cuppa to make it a premium brew.
Time for tea
Tea is still the most popular drink in the UK. Reflecting this, the out-of-home tea market is worth £3.4bn – with cafés seeing the largest profit of £790m according to a report by Tetley, and with the speciality tea category growing 2.8% last year and pubs reporting sales of £76m, tea is a strong choice for any outlet.
Make it memorable
Make a customer’s drinking experience more memorable with a speciality tea. Whether you are a small café or a large pub stocking a selection of loose teas and silky bags, tea served in teapots with China cups will leave a lasting impression with the customer. “If you have space for drinkers to sit inside, loose leaf gives a better tasting brew and creates a more eventful experience,” said Holly Bowden from Brew Tea Company. “The biggest drinkers of loose leaf tea are 25-34 year olds* who want products with provenance and story, and have a keen eye for good value as opposed to the cheapest price point.”
What to stock
Customers tend to stick to the blends they know, so have confidence in the amount of blends you stock. A selection of black, fruit and green teas is essential, however overstocking on trendier brews may be detrimental to your profit. “Operators who choose to stock a vast range of blends inevitably see repeat purchases of familiar blends: English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Green Tea,” added Holly Bowden. “This isn’t surprising, because these blends form the bedrock of everyday tea drinking, while trendier blends like Chamomile trail behind as a tiny proportion of the market.” Get the most out of your tea menu by keeping it simple and doing it properly.
Food pairings, ice tea and cocktails are all ways to add imagination to your tea offering and will help to expand your menu. Why not have a tea and dish of the day on your specials board? Green tea goes well with Asian dishes, and the different black teas available can be mixed and matched with plenty of cuisines. Plus, everyone loves chocolate so why not do a tea and dessert pairing too? According to research from Mintel, afternoon tea is now a growth market for pubs so why not experiment and offer it on a Sunday to attract families or perhaps on quieter midweek days?
All in the name
Using the correct words will engage customers. Using simple terms like ‘cup of tea’ or ‘decaf’ instantly devalues your menu. Stick to using authentic language like ‘English Breakfast’ and ‘Decaffeinated Tea’. It may only seem like a trivial change, however it will make all the difference and help premiumise your offering.
With 72% of out-of-home hot beverage purchases being coffee* we are a nation of caffeine drinkers. Thanks to the dominance of coffee culture, the appeal of this on-trend drink has now spilled out from the coffee shops and the coffee market is generally experiencing unprecedented growth as consumers expect the same quality and taste in pubs, bars and restaurants. “Taste, value for money and cleanliness are the top three consumer drivers for purchasing coffee,” said Lynn Little, Nestlé professional standard ingredients lead. “When it comes down to it, the quality and taste of the coffee earns repeat customers.”
Make it special
The trend to drink less alcohol when out provides pubs, bars and restaurants with an opportunity to boost their coffee sales. However, research* shows that customers who opt for an alcohol-free beverage still want the same care and attention as given to alcoholic drinks. Outlets need to take their coffee seriously and have the following options available: cappuccino, latte, espresso and flat white. Having a choice of milks, syrups and extra shots remain top of consumers’ wish lists and serving it in a bigger cup or offering a choice of sweet toppings will make for a more memorable drink. And to demonstrate to the customer that you are serious about coffee, have a specials board with your coffee of the day, or any special offers you are running.
Make your coffee offering available all day – not just during your eating hours – and provide a ‘to go’ option. This will entice customers ‘on the run’ to come to you for their drink first thing or late afternoon, and cater for customers who don’t have time to sit and drink their post-meal coffee in-house but would happily take one away. “Consumers are no longer sticking to traditional eating and drinking patterns,” said Lynn Little. “They seek coffee experiences wherever and whenever they want them. This means that coffee solutions need to make it faster and easier to get great coffee on the go.”
A perfect pairing
Coffee and chocolate are the perfect pairing. Adding a complimentary cookie, brownie or even a branded chocolate bar with your coffee will not only increase a customer’s satisfaction, but encourage them to a repeat visit – especially if you alternate your offering.
Sweeten up your profits
Syrup infused coffee is growing – and the trend looks likely to stay. According to Tate & Lyle Sugars, 42m cups of espresso-based drinks are sold every week in the UK – a quarter of those served with syrups. And over the last year there has been a 21% uplift in the consumption of syrups* used as an addition within popular coffees, so adding a Vanilla Latte or Caramel Coffee Frappe will complement your menu. “Beverage syrups are particularly popular among younger female coffee shop drinkers,” said Nick James, Tate & Lyle Sugars EU marketing controller. “Today’s generation is buying more and at a higher price point, so it is clear to see that syrups are a big opportunity for anyone looking to extend their menu.” Tate & Lyle’s® extensive range of beverage syrups are readily available in a variety of flavours; they are gluten free, certified Fairtrade and have a shelf life of 18 months.
Sources: Tetley, Mintel, Novus Tea, Brew Tea Company, Researchers at Manchester Business School, Kantar Worldpanel OOH coffee report 2016, Allegra World Coffee Portal on behalf of Tate & Lyle Sugars, 2015, UCC, Allegra, WCP – William Murray Eating Out Report, Allegra Report, 2016