New research from Nescafé has demonstrated a thirst for the coffee-to-go market in convenience – revealing almost two thirds (61%) of people say they would be more interested in purchasing a freshly ground coffee-to-go if it was a well-recognised coffee brand and at an affordable price under £2 a cup, compared to a coffee shop (pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer).
Brewing profits locally: One cup at a time, which features views from 1,000 regular coffee drinkers, reveals over half of consumers visit their local independent convenience store because they want to support local retailers. As consumers shop locally, there is more opportunity for small businesses and local retailers to capitalise on quality coffee-to-go .
Two fifths (37%) of consumers would purchase freshly ground coffee-to-go once a week in a convenience setting and in seeking out trusted and familiar brands more than half would be more likely to buy coffee-to-go if it was from a recognisable brand. At the same time, value for money is key .
Small business and local independent convenience stores have a significant opportunity to capitalise on these trends by offering freshly ground coffee and at a competitive price point.
“Due to new ways of living, consumers are paying more attention to local businesses, as supporting neighbourhood shops becomes increasingly important from a community and a sustainability standpoint,” Charlotte Smith, category manager – coffee-to-go, Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland, says.
“The guide underlines the huge potential for coffee-to-go in the convenience space. As more people shop and work locally, small business and convenience store owners have the opportunity to satisfy consumers and drive loyalty through a quality fresh bean coffee offering.”
“Our survey also shows that a trusted brand and affordable price point are important, making the Nescafé Mini Bean to Cup Coffee Machine ideally placed to help local businesses compete with coffee shops and tap into a new consumption occasion as local shoppers look to take coffee-to-go back to their home working spaces.”
Brewing profits locally – the key take outs
- 61% would purchase a well-known brand under £2 a cup 
- 37% of consumers would purchase freshly ground coffee-to-go once a week in a convenience setting 
- 60% of consumers would also purchase food-to-go 
Top three factors for deciding to purchase coffee-to-go :
- Quality - 67%
- Price - 60%
- Speed of service - 48%
Today’s consumers expect quality and convenience to go hand in hand
Almost two-fifths of people would purchase freshly ground coffee-to-go once a week in a convenience setting, marking huge potential for small business operators1.
When it comes to coffee itself, research shows quality and value for money are important and with almost two thirds (61%) of people saying they would be more interested in purchasing a freshly ground coffee-to-go if it was a well-recognised brand and at an affordable price, under £2 a cup , convenience stores have the potential to win out over coffee shops (pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer).
Elsewhere, uncertain times have brought with them a trend for permissible indulgence as consumers look for treats or small rewards from their coffee. And with more people working from home, there is a new consumption occasion, as consumers look to bring home a fresh cup of coffee from a shopping mission.
There is also potential to increase profits by cross-merchandising, since the research revealed the majority of consumers (60%) said they would buy food-to-go alongside a coffee .
Offering a convenient, quality coffee proposition at a competitive price point can help drive profitability and help to attract local support.
Unlocking the coffee potential
Providing quality, affordable coffee in a timely manner is key to consumers. The research shows that more than two thirds (67%) of people believe the quality of the coffee is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing coffee-to-go, particularly important amongst 45-54-year olds .
Price per cup is the second most important factor, according to 60% of consumers. And almost half (48%) of people also say that speed of service affects their decision making when purchasing coffee-to-go .
Elsewhere, there is huge potential for cross-category selling and when purchasing coffee-to-go from their local independent convenience store, some 60% of people say they would also purchase food-to-go, 53% groceries and 45% confectionery. Only 11% say they would only buy coffee-to-go .
Plan to keep customers happy and increase sales
There are several trends, tips and tricks to help drive footfall and increase profits, from letting people know what’s on offer to simply smiling and saying ‘hello’. Satisfied customers can become regular customers and keeping them happy helps to create loyalty.
Your top tips and takeaways from Nescafé
Takeaway. Some 37% of consumers say they would buy freshly ground coffee-to-go from a local independent convenience store1.
Tip. Consider placing a machine by the counter, to ensure it can be found easily and to also encourage upselling and place a swing sign outside to grab the attention of passers-by, or to simply remind them that coffee-to-go is sold here.
Placing a coffee machine next to snacking, fruit and confectionery items can encourage further upselling, whilst seasonally changing POS is important for targeting customers with messaging which taps into emotion-based decision making.
There is also an opportunity to tap into the working-from-home trend, with POS materials suggesting coffee and a cereal bar or fruit for breakfast and coffee and a sandwich for lunch.
Frictionless convenience. Making a purchase easy and personalised is important to consumers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, who are used to using technology to harness on-demand experiences. There is a great opportunity to fulfil these needs, by providing quick and easy access to goods .
Tip. Adding a bean-to-cup coffee offer is a natural extension of the frictionless convenience trend, allowing customers to personalise their drinks choice and also taps into their desires for a more premium product at a reasonable price point.
Personalisation. Showcase a variety of flavours to cater for all taste buds and allow customers to personalise their choice.
Tip. Restock favourite items to increase the chances of increasing profit margins. By buying products customers are purchasing regularly or have requested, you are instantly catering to their needs and so in turn, will increase customer loyalty
“There is a huge opportunity for convenience retailers to fulfil the needs of local shoppers by offering a quality coffee option,” Smith adds.
“Whether you cater for ‘grab-and-go’ customers or locals looking for a coffee-shop style experience, there is a coffee machine solution to suit your needs.”
Retailers should look to promote their coffee service through POS and drive loyalty with friendly service, offers and cross-merchandising to unlock profit potential.
Nescafé has created a handy online portal to help you find the machine to suit your business as well as a range of hints and tips from operators and our own in-house professionals.
Nescafé offers convenience retailers a range of coffee-to-go solutions, including the Nescafé & Go Machine, which is a quick and easy to use pre-filled cup solution, ideal for shops that serve up to 15 cups per day and who are looking to attract busy customers who want their favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Alternatively, the Nescafé Mini Bean to Cup Coffee Machine offers customers a fresh bean coffee-shop style experience – from espresso and Americano, to lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolate. As an opening deal, members can benefit from two 600 cup bundles worth £2,400** when purchasing a qualifying Nescafé Mini Bean to Cup Machine.
To find out more about Nescafé coffee-to-go options, visit www.coffeetogo.co.uk.
Click here to download the guide, Brewing Profits locally: One cup at a time.
To find out more about the Nescafé Mini Bean to Cup Coffee Machine register here.
 Onepoll UK 1,000 regular coffee drinkers survey, Oct 2020.
 Coffee to-go [Survey of 1500 respondents] 3Gem in collaboration with Nescafé® AZERA November 2019 for Mind The Gap Report, Feb 2020
Terms & conditions:
*Based on two bundles, each containing sufficient ingredients for 600 drinks (500 coffee, 100 chocolate) when sold at £2 per cup (600 drinks x 2 bundles = 1200 servings @£2= £2400). Total value will vary depending on sell-out price. Pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer. See full terms and conditions for more details. Each bundle contains: NESCAFÉ Selezione Wholebean 6 x 1kg (1 case), NESTLÉ Hot Chocolate 10 x 1kg (2 cases), NESTLÉ Milano 100% Skimmed Milk Powder 10 x 500g and 600 cups and lids.
**Abridged Terms and Conditions: Open to any UK & ROI mainland site who purchases a NESCAFÉ Mini Bean to Cup machine (delivered and installed) between 07.10.2020 and 07.10.2021 only. Offer cannot be applied retrospectively. Internet access required. Offer not available to customers with an existing agreement in place. Applicants will be required to create an account and update their registration details including a qualifying machine serial number via www.coffeetogo.co.uk . Upon verification of their account and sales information, an email will be sent to their chosen email address from firstname.lastname@example.org, which will include their promotional code. The promotional code can only be redeemed through the webshop at www.coffeetogo.co.uk . Maximum of one free bundle can be claimed per single transaction. Maximum of two bundles per machine purchased can be claimed overall throughout the duration of the promotion. Offer ends on 07.10.2021, subject to availability of qualifying machines. Participants may claim one offer (two bundles) for each qualifying machine purchased during the stated promotional period. Two free bundles include sufficient stock to make 1200 servings in total** can be redeemed via the webshop at www.coffeetogo.co.uk when the promotional code provided via email from the Promoter is applied. For further details and full terms and conditions visit:
Promoter: Nestlé UK Ltd, Nestlé Professional UK, 1 City Place, Gatwick RH6 0PA