Heating up profits

Quality has to be the watchword when it comes to hot drinks

The increasing consumer demand for a better standard of hot drinks both in and out of home means providing a quality offer in the on-trade is more important than ever.

And licensees that do opt to up their coffee game can reap the benefits, firms told SLTN.

Paula Jones, managing director of Alba Beverage, said: “There is rising demand for coffee in pubs
and bars, outlets that offer quality branded speciality coffees to customers will have scope to increase hot beverage sales.”

Scott Duncan, sales director at Carpigiani UK, agreed. He said a “menu which includes premium quality ingredients” is key for licensed outlets.

The need for a well put together range of hot drinks was stressed by Huhtamaki UK’s marketing manager, Becci Eplett.

She said: “Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about ingredients, preparation methods and origins.

“In light of the increased demand for premium products, operators would be wise to create a menu which includes a varied selection of high quality hot beverages.”

Yet while the market for coffee continues to grow in the UK, operators were urged not to forget about the profit potential of coffee’s great rival.

Alan Pirret, sales director at Novus Tea, said: “Tea is still the UK’s most popular hot drink and, with healthy credentials, nutritional benefits and lower caffeine than coffee, tea is the preferred drink for a less caffeine-fuelled day.

“Sales figures are excellent too: premium tea sales are set to double over the next ten years and sales of healthier green and herbal teas have already doubled in the past two years.”

Jon Usher, head of catering at Glen Dimplex-owned manufacturer Burco, echoed that view.

He said: “The ever-increasing range of unique blends and infusions when it comes to tea is really helping fuel this sector.”

Glen Roberts, chair of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, said once licensees have constructed a range they must train staff in how to look after coffee machines as uncared for or dirty machines won’t produce the quality drinks customers have come to expect “however good its quality of build”.