There are more ways to drink coffee than ever before. It is emerging as a natural stimulant in energy drinks to cross-category beverages. Roasted coffee (39.2%) makes up the largest share of the coffee market, according to Mintel. However, RTD coffee is growing at pace, witnessing a 31 percent growth rate in the last two years, says Mintel.
Value and Premium Focused
Quick Service Retail (QSR) outlets are competing in this space with own-brand options, reacting to consumer needs and focusing on value and convenience, without compromising on taste. Mintel forecasts the RTD coffee segment will experience 67 percent growth from 2017-22. The cold brew coffee market will register a combined annual growth rate of over 27 percent by 2022, according to Research and Markets.
RTD coffee has also witnessed strong growth due to innovation and premiumisation in the category. 48 percent of global consumers state that they are willing to pay more for better quality hot drinks,” as reported by Global Data. The desire for authenticity, quality and the need to reward oneself are driving growth in the premium coffee segment.
Technology, Payments and Delivery
Consumer expectations have never been higher in QSR “Most QSRs have fully embraced technology; nearly all major QSRs are building out their delivery capabilities and adding new in-store technologies,” as told by Mintel.
Payment is becoming simplified, through frictionless payments from biometric identification payment methods such as fingerprint and iris recognition. This technology is making QSR outlets even more practical as an on-the-go method of consuming.
Ordering processes too are being made more convenient, from digital menus, ordering kiosks, voice ordering or to apps at the touch of your fingertips. Artificial intelligence is being used intuitively from AI-powered chatbots to smooth the process to better user experience designs such as ordering kiosks. This benefits food-service outlets and vending, with a focus on high-speed services and value for money. “QSRs are also leveraging social media and building brand loyalty by having a social media persona,” Mintel.
Taking retail to the consumer is a growing trend, with subscription boxes, and pop up cafes offering a convenient solution to time-struck consumers. These concepts provide the opportunity to acquire new customers who seek on-the-go solutions and who are willing to pay a premium for convenience.
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