Customers love to customise
Convenience stores are leading the charge with innovative new flavours, toppings and ingredients, making them the hottest new coffee destination.
More and more stores are offering self-help bars equipped with a variety of coffee selections: new flavours, seasonal ingredients, alternative milks and even candy toppings that draw visitors in droves.
As coffee machine technology advances, more and more businesses can afford self-serve, café-grade coffee machines that offer a vast variety of customisation options.
The combination of customisation and convenience is proving irresistible to time-poor visitors, who value the ability to just stroll in to a store and walk out with a fully customised coffee in a matter of minutes.
If you’re a foodservice business thinking about upgrading to a self-help coffee bar, firstly, congratulations on making a smart business decision!
Secondly, let’s take a look at some of the most popular options out there and how customers are responding to them.
Coffee & Milk
Brewed hot coffee continues to be a popular beverage choice across the board, with nearly 50% of people having at least one cup of hot coffee per day. The only drink that’s more popular is tap water!
When it comes to coffee customisation, dairy and sweeteners are the most popular addition; 87% of 7-Eleven’s frequent customers select a milk coffee on most of their visits.
Though traditional cow’s milk is still the most popular option, a lot of customers seek non-dairy alternatives such as soy and almond.
“Convenience stores can set up milk stations for more of a coffee house appeal – something Millennials seek. With multiple solutions and better flow through the store, a well positioned customisation station reduces line size and increases efficiency for all involved.” – Renee Fahoome, National Account Manager, Nestlé Professional
Fever for flavour
A menu of innovative flavours are a huge draw for customers, with hazelnut and French vanilla proving to be the hottest flavours on the self-serve bench. Pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha, Irish crème and salted chocolate caramel syrup follow close behind with a sizeable fanbase of their own.
Seasonal offerings are also trending, with 35% visitors saying they’d be interested in exploring them. Even cold brew is slowly gaining traction, with 80% of customers showing an interest in trying it out.
Power up with food combos
In the age of the convenience shopper, customers are looking for a one-stop answer for their hunger pangs. That is why customers are more likely to take a bite when foods and beverages are served together as part of a healthy combo meal.
“Customers have to get petrol, so that helps c-stores pull people into the store. If I go in and grab my coffee or breakfast foods at a QSR or coffee shop, I’m waiting in line. But if I have somewhere I can customise my food and beverage by going in the store while I’m pumping my gas, that creates a draw. It’s a one-stop shop.” – Renee Fahoome, National Account Manager, Nestlé Professional
On-the-go breakfast is dominating early morning meals as time-pressed customers look for a quick and nutritious food boost while rushing to work or school. Hot-brewed coffee paired with breakfast foods are hot sellers among the morning commuter crowd.
Self-serve bars are not just growing, they’re evolving
It’s never been easier to add a self-serve coffee bar to your business. With a plethora of machines out there, it’s just a matter of picking the right machine, adding a selection of milks and flavours on the side, and putting the word out. Your customers will thank you!
The automatic café-style coffee machine from Nestlé Professional is a great place to start, with up to 48 beverage options ready to fill up your cup at the touch of a button!
Check out our online tool or call us so we can help you find the perfect machine to take your business to the next level!
Statistics in this article are sourced from Datassential.