Hot Sales for Cold Brew Coffee

Hot Sales for Cold Brew Coffee

By Angela Altass

The demand for coffee continues to be very strong and there’s an opportunity for the convenience and gas (C&G) channel to play a bigger role in the distribution of coffee overall, says Robert Carter, president of the Coffee Association of Canada.

“The volume of coffee consumption continues to increase,” says Carter. “Demand is still there although there are some shifts in how people are consuming it. Overall, we’re starting to see out-of-home coffee consumption returning with consumers coming back into cafes, although it’s still down compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

There is an opportunity for convenience stores to focus on upscaling within the coffee category by working with micro roasters, local offerings and customized solutions, says Carter. 

“Coffee is a very strong staple and there is some good innovation happening,” notes Carter. “Staying on top of trends and understanding consumer purchase behaviours is important. Cold brew, for example, is an area of growth in a foodservice market that’s going to be very challenged over the next year.”

Cold brew options are a great opportunity to attract new and younger customers to a convenience store with a coffee program, says Carter. 

“Convenience has done a great job in the past in areas like slushy beverages for younger consumers but the reality is that these younger consumers are also shifting into some of the cold brew type coffees,” says Carter.

Cold brew provides more opportunity to convenience stores than simply offering hot coffee, says Chris Johnson, executive vice president, Javo Beverage Company.

“The benefit of having a wide portfolio of cold offerings is that the cold coffee consumer participates across all dayparts,” says Johnson. “The millennial and Gen Z consumers are coming in and getting their morning cup of coffee, whether it’s frozen or iced, and that’s their morning pick me up and they’re coming back in the afternoon for their afternoon snack or a beverage to wash down their lunch, and then they’re coming back again in the evening for an indulgent treat, which is typically a frozen coffee offering.”

The hot coffee consumer is typically arriving in the morning daypart only, says Johnson.

“We are an extraction company that offers solutions across the portfolio, from hot to cold,” says Johnson. “With our product offerings and the type of brewing equipment that we have, freshness is never a concern. Our process for extraction is a patented proprietary process. We use purified cold water and raw material to produce an extract of coffee that is very authentic to the traditional cold brew method of extracting coffee. We apply the same brewing methodology to the production of a hot coffee extract so the outcome for our hot coffee, much like the cold brew, is very authentic quality and labour friendly. The product is extremely scalable so you can serve 100 cups or 600 cups in an hour without having to really touch the machine. You simply load the brew concentrate in the machine and the equipment does the rest.”

Today’s consumer is more educated about coffee, says Johnson, who adds that Javo Beverage Company is looking to develop more partnerships and expand distribution in Canada. Some of their products, such as frozen coffee frappe and liquid coffee, are currently available in convenience store chains in the Canadian market. 

“Quality is front of mind for consumers and they know what good coffee tastes like,” says Johnson. “The insights and data that we get from consumers shows us that they make decisions about coffee purchases based on flavour as the number one attribute.”

Consumers, after two years of pandemic habits, are looking for convenience and hygiene friendly coffee solutions, says Megan Sargent, marketing manager, research and product management, Franke Coffee Systems.

“We fill that void with fully automatic systems that provide made-to-order beverages, less waste and are hygiene friendly with limited interaction,” says Sargent. “We have the new A400 Fresh Brew. It was released on September 14. We shared it at the NACS show in Las Vegas and it won a CStore Decisions 2022 Hot New Products Award. This new system allows for consistent, bean-to-cup, fresh coffee every time. The machine has a small footprint of just under 13.5 inches wide with adjustable stainless-steel feet and it fits perfectly where counter space is limited.”

Sargent advises advertising coffee options outside stores to get people to walk inside.

“In a time of labour concerns and price/wages rapidly increasing, the A400 system does not require an operator, making it easy for consumers to use,” adds Sargent. 

Coffee is a highly personal beverage, says Aron Bjornson, vice president, foodservice and national accounts, Canterbury Coffee. 

“More than ever, consumers are looking for diversity in product offerings to enable a personalized beverage experience that meets their individual tastes,” says Bjornson. “Since 1981, Canterbury Coffee has worked to grow, adapt and innovate. Great care and purpose go into creating exceptional coffee, starting with the green beans that we purchase to make sure our coffee is roasted to perfection. We utilize a variety of roasting techniques and equipment to unlock distinct aromas and flavours.”

Recognized at the recent Golden Bean Awards, Canterbury Coffee won 15 medals, along with a Golden Bean Award for the third straight year. 

“We are highly engaged in sustainable practices, both in the sourcing of green coffee and the packaging associated with the preservation of roasted coffee,” says Bjornson. “We purchase our green coffee via brokers that are part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, with the stated goal of making coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product. Community is the foundation of Canterbury Coffee’s relationships with farmers, our employees, our customers and our partnerships with local and global organizations. Locally and globally, the Canterbury Coffee team is committed to giving back. As a company, we’re very grateful to have the extraordinary opportunity to work alongside so many passionate individuals and groups committed to creating long-lasting positive change.”

Offering quality hot coffee and cold brew options will keep sales flowing and customers smiling throughout the day at any convenience store location. 

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