Nestlé Professional explores UK consumer demand for coffee-to-go

Nestlé Professional and Nescafé Azera have launched a new piece of research which explores the growing coffee to-go market in the UK.

The research has been carried out with 1,500 out-of-home coffee consumers and looks at ‘frictionless’ coffee experiences which many consumers now expect from coffee on the move.

The report from Nestlé Professional on consumer convenience behaviours is titled Mind the Gap: Driving frictionless coffee to-go experiences.

Consumer buying and payment habits

The research study found that nine out of ten consumers now buy coffee to-go and nearly half prefer to purchase it from a well-known brand.

More than a fifth (22%) of customers have become so used to technology speeding up their shopping experiences that they no longer expect to have to queue to make payments. As such, Nestlé Professional has identified that the optimum ‘Convenience Gap’ (the time consumers are willing to wait after ordering) for takeaway products such as coffee is between two to three minutes.

How can brands utilise consumer attitudes?

The research found that consumers are currently seeking out the ‘feel good factor’ that accompanies buying an environmentally-sound product, therefore this is an ideal time for brands to communicate key messages, especially ones concerning sustainability.

As demonstrated by some of the additional findings in the report:

  • Two-thirds (62%) would be more likely to buy coffee to-go if they could use their own cup.
  • Nearly four in 10 (39%) coffee lovers say they try to buy coffee to-go responsibly but sometimes don’t feel they are able to.
  • One-third (37%) assume bigger brand coffee is responsibly sourced.
  • The majority (57%) would use a reusable cup If they could get a discount on future coffee purchases.
  • The majority of consumers (51%) would be more likely to choose convenience coffee if there was no queue.

Consumer behavioural expert, Kate Cooper-Fay, CEO of CXY Limited, commented: ’The key is to increase spend per basket and sell higher margin products, such as coffee to-go, as part of the shop. The coffee to-go proposition also provides an opportunity to make the convenience space a destination in its own right. With higher quality coffee to-go offerings making an appearance, I expect we may even see a shift to coffee purchasing being the main reason people visit a convenience store, which is why it’s essential to get the offering right.”

Nestlé’s report includes top tips for convenience retailers including the benefits of sampling to educate consumers on the taste of their products, the importance of relevant POS with clear branding that brings provenance as well as brand identity to drive revenues for retailers.

Commenting on the report, Kate Alexander, head of Channel – Leisure & On The Go at Nestlé Professional, said: “Frictionless convenience, where the consumer can enjoy almost instant gratification in a fast, easy and personalised shopping experience, is a trend gathering serious pace.

“Millennials and Gen Z in particular are driving an on-demand and increasingly technological culture where convenience is redefined as services that are available at the push of a button, anytime, anywhere. On-the-go retail spaces fulfill this need by providing easy access to goods as part of an accelerated lifestyle.”

To download the report from Nestlé Professional, click here.

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