Is your coffee offer meeting consumer expectations?
It’s a really exciting time for the coffee industry right now. Consumers are developing a deeper understanding and interest in coffee, including the processes and science behind their beverage. Because of this increased interest, the expectation of the average consumer has grown significantly, forcing all involved in the coffee sector, including non-specialist operators, to up their game. Premium coffee is not concentrated in coffee shops any longer, consumers expect a barista-quality beverage wherever they go – from the office tea point, to the supermarket, to the hotel lobby. In this blog, we explore the biggest opportunities and challenges facing the coffee industry right now and identify simple changes to help operators meet and exceed consumer expectations.
Is your coffee specialty grade?
The consumer’s increasing interest in all things coffee has resulted in a meteoric growth in specialty coffee. Specialty coffee is the crème de la crème of coffee, and only a small percentage of the coffee produced can be classed as such, however in 2017 close to 60% of coffee consumed was classed as specialty. This marks a huge change in the consumption habits of consumers, and could pose a challenge for coffee farmers who don’t yet have the skills, expertise or equipment to grow specialty-grade coffee beans. However, this new-found love of specialty coffee is a great opportunity for non-specialist operators to provide a premium beverage that will be certain to please the most discerning drinkers.
Are you equipped for quality?
We’ve gone from being a nation of tea drinkers, enjoying the odd cup of instant coffee, to a country of coffee connoisseurs. Research has found that since 2008, the UK’s daily coffee consumption has soared from 70 million cups to 95 million cups. Perhaps the biggest challenge for those operating in the coffee sector is finding the perfect coffee equipment that can cope with high demand whilst providing consistent quality drinks.. The typical “instant” coffee simply won’t cut it for a large number of us, and we can taste the difference between an average and a great cup of coffee, but premium coffee isn’t quite as simple to prepare. It all comes down to the equipment. It takes high quality equipment to create a high-quality espresso, and the water quality, coffee grind, extraction time and temperature all play an important role in creating the perfect drink. Coffee operators must be certain that their equipment can deliver a consistent cup of specialty coffee, as the modern consumer simply won’t settle for anything less.
Do you know where the coffee you serve comes from?
The consumer’s love affair with coffee is challenging the whole coffee lifecycle; from sourcing the green beans and perfecting the different blends, to roasting and brewing the perfect cup. The consumer is more aware of where their coffee comes from and of the whole process from bean to cup. There is a huge focus on sustainability in all areas of our lives, from the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, right down to the coffee we drink. Consumers want to know where their coffee comes from and how it is farmed. As a result, operators need to be equipped with this information. We believe sustainability and traceability should be standard practice, and the recent focus is a great opportunity for the industry as a whole to start the move towards a more sustainable future. At Scanomat, we focus on ‘Direct Trade’, which we believe provides the most transparent view of the coffee growing conditions and processes on our partner farms (click here to find out more about direct trade and why think it’s so important). Over the years, we have developed direct links and partnerships with our coffee farmers and their communities – something that we are extremely proud of (click here to read more about our partner farms). For many in the world of coffee, particularly those who have not always seen the importance of sustainability, there will be a big challenge in the coming years to adapt and update practices in line with customer expectations.
Can you adapt quickly to changes in the market?
In the current competitive climate, the coffee sector needs to remain agile and flexible to change. The millennial generation is the fastest growing group of coffee drinkers, but in order to maximise on this opportunity, businesses must be able to innovate and quickly respond to the latest trends. At Scanomat, we never stand still, and the TopBrewer IoT enabled ecosystem, CoffeeCloud, means we have the unique ability to send new releases and updates ‘over the air’ to every wi-fi-enabled TopBrewer across the world in seconds. The revolutionary technology allows us, as well as our customers, to stay agile and responsive, continually disrupting the coffee experience to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.
Since Scanomat UK was founded 8 years ago, we’ve been at the forefront of change in the coffee sector. We have dealt with the increased consumer engagement by owning the whole coffee process, from design to delivery. Our revolutionary TopBrewer turned the coffee machine industry on its head, and our range of Amokka coffees takes sustainable coffee sourcing to the next level via Direct Trade.
Contact us to find out how TopBrewer can help you to stay ahead of the curve.