Increase Sales Through Retail Coffee and Seasonal Drink Trends

Is your New Year’s Resolution to increase sales and profitability in 2015? We’re here to help.

Offer Retail Coffee

money-bean-guy2As we have said before, a majority of the coffee business remains in the home, where most people are brewing up their first coffee of the day. Providing customers with high-quality specialty coffee that they can take home with them for their first cup of the day will not only increase the profitability of your store, but it will increase customer loyalty as well. A bag of coffee bought from your store will remind customers of the type of product you provide and will keep them coming back to their favorite local spot again and again. Coffee is a popular gift item and an appealing retail bag will increase recognition of your store.

Stockton Graham & Co. has all of the materials necessary to help you bring a thriving retail coffee program to your store. All of our coffees can come prepackaged in six count, 12 oz. or 16 oz. retail bags, so you don’t have to do a thing! We can even help you create your own private label to promote your store on your custom bags. Another option is to set up bins that put your freshly roasted beans on display. This affordable option allows your staff to have a personal moment with customers as they fill the bag and hand it off.

Stay On Trend

Another great way to meet your sales goals for 2015 is with seasonal options that cater to consumer trends. Stockton Graham & Co. monitors the specialty beverage industry to inform our customers of what seasonal products to offer, and we can help you set up a limited time offer program to keep your menu fresh and exciting.

For example, as we all ring in the New Year with health centered resolutions, having sugar-free syrups, smoothies and snack options like KIND Bars and oatmeal are a great way to stay on trend and give sales a little boost. Sugar-free alternatives to the popular flavors like vanilla, caramel and hazelnut give those health conscious customers an indulgent treat without the calories or guilt. Smoothies like, Dr. Smoothie purees, are packed full of nutrients to power through the day and stick to health goals. KIND Bars and oatmeal are great options for a coffee shop to bring in because they are shelf-stable, healthy and a customer favorite.

For more information about seasonal trends or to talk to our team about retail coffee, give us a call at 800 835 5943.

Twenty Years Tells Us: Offer Bulk & Retail Coffee

SGC-historyYou have probably heard us talk about the profitability of a bulk & retail coffee program before, and we know from experience that it is a great idea! Twenty years ago this May, our CEO Jeff Vojta and his business partner started a little coffee shop in Raleigh, NC, called Classic Coffees which would later become Stockton Graham & Co. Back in 1994, there wasn’t much to go on in terms of how to run a coffee shop. Starbucks wasn’t yet a household name, and the specialty coffee industry was still in its infancy. Our founders had to experiment with what worked, what failed and what could be improved upon. One of the best revenue streams turned out to be Classic Coffee’s bulk and retail coffee offerings. They started small with only 5 or 6 offerings in their program, and within 2 years they had over 100 different coffees available.

SGC_RetailCoffeeInfographicChart_2014The bulk and retail coffee program in the original store is one of the key factors Jeff attributes to the store’s success. Jeff has said, “Shops that properly implement a robust bulk coffee program can expect a 40-50% increase in gross coffee and coffee beverage sales.” One of the ways that a bulk coffee program can help your store do this is by increasing customer loyalty. You see your best customers 3-5 times a week, but they drink coffee everyday. Is it your coffee? If they aren’t using beans bought from your store, they are buying them from somewhere else. Instead of losing the business to some other store or supermarket, offer customers the same great coffee you serve as a retail option! Selling take-home coffee adds to incremental sales, helps you rotate your stock more quickly, and keeps you relevant with your customers on a daily basis. They are more than likely to share it with friends and family and come back to you with future business! What a great way to market to new potential customers!

Thinking about starting your own bulk and retail coffee program? Here is what Jeff did at Classic Coffees to increase both sales and customer loyalty:SGC-Bulk-Coffee

 

What Jeff did:

  • Made the beans accessible to customers to see, smell and taste
  • Educated staff and customers about the coffees
  • He had a separate help line for those stopping in just to buy beans
  • Had over 100 selections of coffee
  • Offered shipping and gift baskets

For more information about bulk and retail coffee programs, give your Customer Care Associate a call at 800.835.5943.

Want to private label your retail coffees? Read more about our private label program here.

Need point-of-sale materials to support your retail or bulk team program? Read how we can help here.

Twenty Years Tells Us… Keep It Fresh!

Spring CleaningIt’s that time of year again when we start our Spring cleaning and begin looking ahead at the warmer months. While keeping a neat and tidy business is important, so is changing things up a little. This can be done a number of easy and inexpensive ways.

Start by moving furniture and fixtures around. This can change the vibe of the store and can even highlight certain products. When we owned retail outlets this technique was especially helpful when certain retail items weren’t moving as quickly we liked. Older items began to sell better, and we didn’t even have to mark them down!

Spring CleaningYou can keep it fresh by adding new items to your menu. Offer seasonal or limited time only options. Customers really respond to new and interesting choices and will often spend more for them.  One of our customer’s introduced a cupcake latte once and sold more of those than mochas during the promotion period.

We’re keeping it fresh too. You can expect to see several new products this Spring (like Sweet Heat from Torani). So, be sure to call us at 800-835-5943 and ask our Customer Care Associates for ideas on what’s new, and what’s old that can be made new again.

Build your Business: Bulk & Retail Coffee Programs

Are you selling whole bean coffee in your café? You should be. Bulk coffee sales have the potential to dramatically increase your total sales, yet ironically it remains one of the most underrated and missed opportunities by many specialty coffee retailers. One of the most common misconceptions, when it comes to selling retail coffee, is that it is encouraging customers to stay at home and not come into your shop. The reality is this; of the 300 million cups of coffee Americans drink each day, about three quarters are brewed at home. This means that if customers are inevitably going to drink someone’s coffee at home, it might as well be yours. This also does not replace the fact that customers will still need to come to your shop for espresso-based and other specialty drinks, which they are typically unable to make at home. A successful retail program does not require a lot of extra time, work or marketing. A simple countertop or shelf display will draw the attention of your customers and have them asking questions in no time!

So what type of revenue can a retail program bring in? The National Coffee Association found in 2000 that 54% of the adult population of the United States drinks coffee daily (typically in the morning). So if you have 150 customers a day, then about 75 of them drink a minimum of seven cups of coffee a week and it could very well be at home. This statistic really gives you an idea of the amount of sales you can acquire, even when the customer is at home. A weaker whole bean program probably sells around 15 pounds per week (with an average retail sales price of $15.00 per pound), which translates to about $225 per week and about $900 per month in whole bean sales alone. A stronger retail program has the potential to bring in upwards of $4,000 a month.

Apart from an increase on your bottom line, another major aspect that a successful retail program can bring is customer loyalty. It’s no secret that there are a lot of choices when it comes to coffee. So anytime one of your customers is not invested in your coffee, you are at risk of your customer being poached by a competitor. The best way to avoid this is to keep them invested in you, even when they walk out of your door. A simple way to think of it is; each time they drink a cup of your coffee at home, that’s one less cup of someone else’s coffee that they’re drinking. Like any product, the more and more a customer gets comfortable with it, the more likely they will continue to purchase it.

So what’s the best way to set up a retail coffee program in your shop? As mentioned before, it does not take much. Start small, with a few choices (perhaps your house blend, a popular flavor and a favorable single origin) —there’s no need to overwhelm or confuse your customers right from the get-go. Once you notice trends or your customers start making requests, feel free to make additions to your selection. Display your beans in a noticeable area, but make sure it’s not too obnoxious – the goal is to use your whole bean program as an upsell. You don’t want it to distract your customer from the rest of your menu. Most importantly, educate your staff. It is likely your customers will ask questions or recommendations before they pull the trigger on a purchase, so make sure your employees are knowledgeable on all of the blend components, origins, taste profile, etc.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co. we can supply all of our coffees in six count cases, of either 12oz. or 16oz. retail packaged bags, so you don’t have to do a thing! We can also provide custom and private labeling, along with point of sale material, to help grab your customer’s eye, each time they walk in the door! For more information or for additional tips on building your retail coffee program, give us a call at 1.800.835.5943, and your customer care associate will be more than happy to assist you!

Click here to read more about our custom and private labeling. Click here to see more on the point of sale materials Stockton Graham & Co. can offer you!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

Real Cream Frappe Base July 2013 Promotion – Buy 4, get 1 FREE!

Stockton Graham & Co. is happy to announce an all new Torani promotion for the month of July! For the entire month, each time a customer purchases four (4) cases of any combination of Torani Real Cream or Torani Real Fruit Smoothie on a single order, they will receive a FREE case of Torani Real Cream Frappe of their choice!

Available in 4 great flavors:

• Real Cream: Offers maximum versatility, because you can make any flavor you desire with your syrups or sauces!
• Dark Chocolate: Just needs ice and espresso to deliver a rich and decadent frappe.
• Vanilla: Clean and creamy, & flavored with real vanilla extract that can balance well with espresso.
• Coffee: Has 100% Arabica coffee in it, making it more convenient to pour, blend and serve!

This great offer is only valid from July 1st -31st, so be sure to take full advantage! To place an order or to learn more about this limited offer, call our Customer Care Associates today at 800.835.5943.

Stockton Graham & Co. New E-commerce Store Now Open!

E-storeStockton Graham & Co.’s new e-commerce store is now up and running on the website. The site has Stockton Graham Coffees® and Dilworth Coffee®  which include over 75 single origin coffees, blends, sustainable single origins, espressos, flavored coffees and decaffeinated coffees.

The addition of the online store has come from much interest by customers for the ability to easily purchase Stockton Graham Coffees for home use. Originally created and roasted for our own specialty coffee house, Stockton Graham Coffees are craft-roasted coffees produced in Raleigh, NC. The collection is sourced from the finest quality Arabica beans from around the world!

Jeff Vojta , co-founder and President of Stockton Graham & Co.® says, “We’re proud to now offer customers who do not have a local source for Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffees a way to order conveniently online.”

As with any food or beverage source, the fresher the better. When ordering from our e-commerce shop, your coffee will be roasted that day and shipped directly. When purchasing Stockton Graham Coffees, you can expect the quality of freshly roasted beans. Stockton Graham & Co. is excited to offer something so easy to use by request of our customers. Call us at 800.835.5943 to learn more about our e-commerce site, or visit the store to order Stockton Graham Coffee for your home or office.

Using Marketing to Grow Your Cafe’s Profits! Part 2

marketing-part2In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the importance of marketing your store and developing a marketing plan to do so.  We also re-introduced our MAP (Marketing Area Profile).  If you have completed your MAP, then you can now begin to identify potential targets and events in your immediate area.  Recall that we are hoping to achieve a FAT bottom line.  We do this by increasing the number of visits from each customer (Frequency), how much they spend (Average) and, of course, getting new customers through the door (Trial).

Before you dive into marketing your location, let’s do a little housekeeping first.  It is a good idea to make sure every customer, new and old, is having the best experience possible while visiting your shop.  I once had a mentor who would say that the best way to go out of business is great marketing.  What he meant is that before you spend money to bring in new customers, make sure you aren’t driving them away with a bad first impression.  So, take a look at your operation from the customer’s point of view.  Is each barista well-trained and producing great drinks consistently?  Are all staff members presentable and friendly?  Is your store clean and well-maintained?  Look on both sides of the counter; are work areas kept neat and clear? Are the retail shelves clean and inviting?  How about your fans and light fixtures; are they burnt out and covered in dust?  Are the floors and furniture clean?  Is the outside of the store inviting?  What about your drink and food menu?  Do you have what customers want, and would you eat the food you have displayed?  Check online reviews and find out what customers love and hate about your shop; address any issues, and applaud your staff for successes.

You may want to invite some friends in to give honest feedback about what they see and how they are served, and then treat them to coffee at a competitor for comparison.  While you are there, check their prices against yours.  Are you in-line, too high, too low?  Does your pricing model even make sense?  We hear some of our customers say that they haven’t changed prices in several years, while the big guys change theirs yearly.

When you first opened, you probably had a check list for each shift.  Now would be a good time to dig it up, update it and reinstate this policy with your staff. This will ensure that your store remains as presentable as you originally envisioned it to be.

As you review your menu, please feel free to call any of our Customer Care Associates for ideas and suggestions on the latest trends.  We can help you round out your menu with the types of items that customers are asking for, and help you do it profitably.

In the next installment, we will discuss the details of Frequency, Average and Trial, and how this concept can add double digit growth to your bottom line.

Written by: Thom Swain – Business Development Representative

See Part 3 to finish off this series!