C-stores experienced a 6.2% growth in in-store sales in 2022, a record high according to c-store news’ state of the industry report.This means that store owners should take a look at their in-store shopping experience and ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Coffee Cravings Boost Sales in C-Stores: 3 Tips for Store Owners
Convenience store coffee sales took a hit during the pandemic but have been back on the rise since 2021. Coffee cravers are back to fueling up with their daily caffeine dose at c-stores. With more people returning to the office, stopping at the local c-store for coffee is back to being a part of the daily routine. While coffee sales are recovering from the drop they experienced in 2020, the category is not recovering to the same degree as other beverage categories, according to NACS. Here are 3 ways to improve your coffee corner to boost your coffee sales in your c-store…
- Focus on quality
A recent NACS article said “you don’t make money buying cheap coffee; you make money selling great coffee.” With so much competition in the coffee space, it is important to offer quality products to your customer. Consider offering samples of various coffee blends to your customers to see which one they like best. This is a great way to give the customer exactly what they want and bring them back in the door for their morning coffee. By offering quality coffee products that your customer wants, you make it more likely for them to come to you for their coffee purchase over making coffee at home. The key is to sell delicious, quality coffee drinks that they can’t make themselves.
- Price it right
The average gross margin for coffee in 2021 was 66.75% in 2021, according to NACS state of the industry report. Since this is such a high margin, there is a bit of flexibility in pricing which will be a key part of separating from the competition. A CBS survey found that “one in 10 wouldn't pay more than a dollar for a cup of coffee, while 16% are willing to pay upwards of five dollars for a cup.” So, look at your current margin and find the sweet spot between $1-$5 that is going to work best for your business as well as your customers because the right price can boost customer loyalty and bring in more repeat customers.
- Tap into a new market
Millennials and Gen Z will be key customers for your coffee sales. “65% of Gen Z consumers have ordered a cold drink away from home in the past 3 months, compared with 33% who have ordered a hot coffee drink,” according to a recent NACS report. That is a large percentage of consumers who are willing to pay for coffee over making it at home. Both of these groups expect quality coffee and are willing to spend a bit more than others for a cup, especially if unique flavors are offered. To cater to this market, expand your flavor and milk offerings and be sure to offer plant-based creamers/milks. When you keep up with the latest trends, you'll surely bring in more Millennial and Gen Z customers.
Sprucing up your coffee inventory can be a fun task! Be sure to keep up with the latest trends, offer some seasonal drinks, and cater to your customer.