The coffee market is undeniably seasonal – it is a fact of life that we drink more hot drinks in the winter and so sales are naturally higher during the colder weather. As the weather warms up it can be a challenge to find ways to keep sales rolling in and to prevent the summer slump. But it isn’t all bad news! Iced and blended beverage sales continue to rise year on year, increasing by 18% in 2016 according to the Allegra Strategies Iced Coffee Report. This outpaced coffee market growth overall and the next category tipped for growth by Allegra is cold brew and nitro coffee.
Cold drinks are often the most neglected category by coffee sellers but have real potential to deliver great profits. Despite our general aversion to hot, milk-based drinks during the summer months, as the weather improves we are all out and about more so there is great potential to sell lots of cold drinks. With careful consideration and planning you can beat the summer slump and maintain steady sales throughout the year.
Read on for our top tips for selling cold drinks:
Put Frappe on the Menu
Frappe sales have boomed in recent years, with some estimates as high as 25% growth. They are quick and simple to make and with an average high street selling price of approximately £3.40 you could stand to make as much as 60% profit. They can provide great alternatives for those that do not enjoy coffee and with a small range of syrups, toppings and flavourings, you can offer a wide menu. For maximum flavour, include fresh ingredients like fresh cream or fresh strawberries.
Plan promotions and seasonal drinks
One of the simplest ways to engage with your customers and to keep them coming back again and again is by offering seasonal recipes and offers. This applies all year round but seasonal, summer recipes, promoted effectively using posters and A- boards will give your customers new reasons to visit you every month and stop the menu becoming stale. Consider offering free samples so that your customers can try before they buy!
Grab attention with Nitro Cold Brew
Tipped to be one of the biggest trends to hit the coffee industry, Nitro cold brew is one of the most innovative ways to enjoy coffee today. The great news is that the high street retailers have not yet started promoting nitro in a big way. So, there is a great opportunity for smaller retailers to stand out. Embracing trends like Nitro is a great way to attract the eye of potential new customers and give your existing customers a new coffee experience when the sun is shining!
Get your soft drinks selection right
The cold drinks fridge can often be a neglected area, stocked with just bottled water and Cola. Not hugely inspiring and not likely to excite anyone during the hot weather! There are many independent drinks companies out there, offering unusual juices, smoothies and sparkling drink options. This is one area worth getting right because when people have choice, they often drink more!
Take inspiration from the high street
The saying goes familiarity breeds contempt but sometimes people like what they are used to. Observe what the high street are offering, take inspiration and put your own spin and add your own creative flair. For example, dessert inspired frappe drinks are available at most of the large retail coffee chains and are popular. So, do a little research, look at what’s selling and create your own.
Make iced tea coolers
Iced tea is huge in the USA with 84% of restaurants offering it. Despite being a nation of drinkers, it has taken us a little time to get into iced tea. A quick google search will inform you that there are thousands of delicious ice tea drinks that you can make- from traditional lemon and peach flavours to mocktail flavours like mojito iced tea. The tea can be sweetened with syrups, fruit, berries and mint and sparkling water and lemonade can be added for fizz. Served in clear, bubble cups iced tea can look very attractive and can command a good price upwards of £2 per cup. Simple to make, low calorie and naturally caffeine free, we think they are a simple and clever way to boost sales.
There’s nothing quite like fresh juice
There is nothing quite like the aroma and flavour of freshly pressed juice. Juice sales across the UK have slightly fallen in recent years, due to concern about sugar content. But in spite of this, record numbers of juice and smoothie bars have been opening and cold pressed juice in particular is booming. On this basis, we think kitting yourself out with a fresh juice machine and selling freshly squeezed juice at a premium price is a sure-fire way to drive sales in the summer months.
Stock grab and go options
With people being out and about more in the summer months, it is important to provide grab and go options that people can take away with them and enjoy in the sun. This is a good thing for any coffee retailer, when you consider that you could sell ten or more takeaway drinks in the time you can sell one to a seated customer. This links back to point 4 about carefully constructing your cold drinks range – make sure that you have options that people can pick up and enjoy whilst walking around.
Our final thought and an unofficial point 9 is to review and freshen up your point of sale range. You can have the best cold drinks range out there, but if you don’t let your customers know that your drinks are available and on sale now, you might not sell too many!
To learn more about making healthy profits from iced drinks click here to contact us.