C-Stores Perk Up Coffee & Tea Sales

C-Stores Perk Up Coffee & Tea Sales

The gourmet coffee and tea market is experiencing a surge, with a 12% increase in customer traffic at specialty outlets, contrasting the overall 1% decline in foodservice traffic. Specialty coffee servings rose by 7%, indicating a trend towards affordable indulgence during inflationary times. Convenience stores (c-stores), traditionally strong in the coffee segment, saw a 1% uptick in specialty coffee servings. Leaders in the c-store industry like Cumberland Farms, Wawa, and Kum & Go are noted for their high purchase intent ratings, but competition is stiff with over 3,500 specialty coffee and tea shops opening in 2023. The market for cold coffee drinks, such as iced espresso and cold brew, has shown double-digit growth, with 50% of c-stores now offering cold brew. To differentiate themselves, c-stores are introducing unique flavors and limited-time offers (LTOs), with pumpkin spice leading the flavor trends. Additionally, the article suggests that coffee should be promoted as an all-day beverage and that plant-based creamers, while growing in foodservice, should be offered based on customer demand due to their higher costs.

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