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While some everyday coffee beans or grinds may sell themselves, independent retailers have a unique opportunity to engage with customers and diversify their purchases.
Lockdown dramatically changed where and how people enjoy their coffee. According to Lex Thornely, co-founder of Blue Goose, “Pod machine sales are unrelenting and bean-to-cup consumption is only growing, so a diverse offering will only help increase basket spend among coffee consumers, who tend to be extremely loyal once they’ve found ‘their brew’.”
Like many other areas of the food and drink industry, coffee has become ‘Instagram-able’, and independents can use their social media platforms to show off their selection or barista skills. As Athena Lee, marketing manager at ShelfNow, explains, “Social media has further amplified the influence on the coffee industry, enabling coffee shops and roasters to showcase their products and reach a wider audience.
“Platforms like Instagram and Youtube have made it easier for coffee enthusiasts to share their coffee experiences and connect with other coffee lovers worldwide. Social media has also helped to popularize trends like speciality coffee and latte art, which highlight the artistic and creative aspects of coffee-making.”
Above all, coffee drinking is an experience, so keep this in mind if you have an in-store barista or café. This is something Paul Rooke, executive director at the British Coffee Association, firmly believes in, as he concludes, “I would say don’t underestimate the social value that your premises offer to many consumers, to relax, to catch up with friends, to spend a few moments of reflection between appointments.
“A great coffee and food mix in comfortable surroundings provides an affordable luxury that we all look for.”