5 Ways To Improve Coffee Sales In Micro Markets

September 27, 2017

While micro markets and vending seem to go hand in hand, that isn't always the case with office coffee service (OCS). OCS operators generally don't have the SKU management and delivery model to easily support micro markets. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done. According to Automatic Merchandiser's latest State of the Office Coffee Service report, 30.3 percent of operators whose primary business is OCS offer micro markets. How are they using micro markets to better their OCS revenues? Here are the insider tips.

1. Consider location carefully

While micro markets work in a number of different locations, for OCS operators, the majority find offices to be the most successful micro market/OCS combination. Office customers are looking for premium, high end options, from snacks to beverages, and appreciate micro markets and better OCS offerings. At the other extreme there is an opportunity to offer the specialty and gourmet options employees want and are willing to buy themselves in a micro market if the office will only offer generic or value coffee for free. This also allows you to upsell, for example, offering a special price on a breakfast item if the micro market customer purchases a coffee.

2. Go with bean-to-cup or other single-cup brewers

Pick a sophisticated brewer that offers freshly made gourmet beverages. Bean-to-cup brewers were the clear favorite in 2016/2017, growing in placements above other single-cup brewers in and out of micro markets. They allow for a wider range of coffee to be offered, from locally roasted favorites to national brands. Many also offer touchscreens and solubles to create specialty drinks, including espresso. The experience of a bean-to-cup brewer is one that employees appreciate, making bean-to-cup brewers the way to go for OCS operators look to charge higher prices and gain additional revenue.

3. Offer premium quality coffee

In locations that support micro markets, offering a national value coffee or no-name generic won't bring in high revenue, even if the location doesn't offer any coffee service. The perception of a micro market is high-end and the coffee offerings must match. Therefore, OCS operators that provide micro markets find local roasters, known to the location, and national specialty coffees do well. There is room for private label too, but the quality and image must still be gourmet.

4. Consider branded brewers

Because micro market users are consumers, they know about brands. Recognition of the brand and knowledge of its perceived quality are a driving force in making a purchase. That is why many OCS operators have had success bringing in a branded coffee brewer, especially a single-cup brewer. The customer is more likely to purchase a coffee or specialty beverage if they recognize and like the brand offered. It's also a good idea to surround the branded coffee with other branded, popular items, such as snacks and treats that pair well with coffee.

5. Offer more creamer and sweetener variety

More than ever OCS operators are reporting that locations want a greater choice in creamers, coffee flavorings and sweeteners. Providing these in the micro market is more likely to lure in customers, who will purchase more coffee. If you can find the offerings in scannable single-serve packages or can bundle them to be sold to the consumer, that is even better.

Employees love micro markets. Consumers love coffee. It makes sense to pair the two in order to reap the greatest rewards. OCS focused operators are ensuring their micro markets have the high-quality coffee, specialty drinks, and allied products, including snacks and breakfast items, that will drive up sales. It is an area all micro market operators can benefit in.