In the UK last year, 1 in 5 coffee shop visitors visited coffee shops every day, consuming 1.7 billion cups of coffee a year. That’s a lot of coffee, as well as adding up to a considerable amount of time spent out of the office. The solution for employers is to bring the coffee shop experience into the office.
A supply of high quality coffee in close proximity to those who want access to it in their workplace is arguably a greater priority than providing hot meals in-house.
Smart organisations seeking to cater for all generations are taking advantage of the nation’s caffeine addiction, not only to make a profit, but more importantly to turn the workplace into a more informal and productive environment.
Providing quality beverages on-site for staff reduces the number of employees buying coffee elsewhere. This reduces downtime as employees aren’t leaving the building for as long, or not at all, and are therefore not losing momentum.
Research shows that 79% of office employees believed that access to good quality coffee made them more productive workers, and a similar percentage felt ‘more valued’ by their employers if coffee was provided for them.
There is little doubt that the emergence of the likes of Costa and Starbucks on the High Street has revolutionised British drinking habits. Expectations have been raised and the £2.50 to £3.00 cup of coffee is now accepted as the norm; the days of brown watery stuff from a vending machine are now long gone. The Vending and indeed the Catering Industry, is gradually waking up to the need to jump onto the bandwagon and there have been some notable successes to meet this opportunity.
Using fresh coffee beans ground to order to produce a fresh and superior-quality coffee is increasingly popular. It is therefore no surprise that there has been a recent surge in the popularity of fresh-brew and bean-to-cup vending machines.
The large high-street coffee chains are keen to capitalise on the awareness of their brands and are reaching out to new markets through the use of these machines. The brand owner wants to retain consumer recognition, trust and loyalty, and of course to set their products apart from others in the same market place.
Coffee “Towers” are the ‘new boys on the block’ to satisfy this requirement. The ‘Tower’ or ‘Pod’ houses a vending machine capable of dispensing quality bean coffees. Whilst this market is in its infancy, many vending operators and brand owners are seeking to exploit this opportunity. Many aim to partner the big coffee brands, with the intention of becoming the market leader in the ‘pay-as-u-go coffee market’.