Herbal teas, juices and soft drinks aren't going anywhere, but nothing has consumers hooked like coffee. One of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee dominates countless city corners and takes up precious space in every C-store. You might not need special promotions or cutting-edge displays to sell it, but if you really want to capitalize on coffee culture, you should embrace trends and set your sights on the tastiest beans and most organized stations.
Keep it clean and quick
Every store, cafe, and coffee manufacturer is offering their own spin on the coffee-making and coffee-drinking experience. Even if coffee is a routine part of every weekday for most customers, buying their morning cup should be a pleasant and even restful experience. After all, it's a very important part of each morning. A Cumberland Farms poll this fall revealed than more than half -- 56 percent -- of people would rather be late to work than skip getting coffee.
When customers are on their way to work, you don't want to slow them down with backed-up lines, empty condiment dispensers. Countertops filled with wet napkins, spilled creamer and errant grains of sugar can make a bad morning worse, and you want your store to be associated with good mornings and good coffee. You want your coffee station to make the morning rush easier to endure. Efficient dispensers and displays from RCS Plastics can enhance your customers' experience. Offering plenty of cream and sugar options, keeping the space clean, and are a good start.
Premium and seasonal coffee
Cleanliness won't cut it if the coffee's weak, burnt or bitter, though. Your customers won't mind paying a premium for a better cup. If you invest in gourmet beans and make an effort to offer fair trade and organic options, you should market the upgraded tastes with free samples, deals, and signs full of buzz words. Offer coffee cup sleeves made from recyclable materials, with logos that tell everyone about the high-end contents.
Coffee promotions tend to revolve around seasonal trends. You can keep this going all year round by offering an unusual variety on of flavored syrup dispensers, but if you want coffee lovers to appreciate your selection, you'll need pumpkin and cinnamon roasts during the holidays and plenty of fresh iced coffee during the summer. In fact, iced coffee might be a good idea year-round; 65 percent of coffee drinkers told the same pollsters that they would choose iced coffee over hot coffee if they could only have one all year.
If you always try to exceed the standards of typical C-store coffee and you appeal to choosy and festive coffee drinkers, you'll have no problem nurturing your customers' ever-growing love for coffee.