The key beverage categories
are changing, and retailers
need to keep up with the times
by stocking items that cater to
the latest caffeine craze.
BY REBEKAH MARCARELLI
G H Q
WHETHER IMPULSIVELY grabbing a New Age sin- gle-serve cold brew from a cooler at the check- out, stocking up on their
favorite bulk bin coffee beans or looking for a
strong cup of tea, tired, cranky shoppers looking for their caffeine fix can now expect to
find a plethora of options in their local grocery stores. Many American shoppers are coffee and tea fanatics, and the categories are not
going anywhere anytime soon, but today’s
time-strapped, health-conscious consumers
are starting to gravitate away from traditional
bags of ground coffee and sugary boosters in
favor of quick, healthy options that will immediately satisfy their need for a pick-me-up.
Data from consumer research firm Nielsen
shows ground single-serve coffee continues
to gain dollar shares while traditional ground
coffee has declined slightly in dollar sales.
“This is likely reflective of consumers’ on-
the-go lifestyle where they are looking for quick
and convenient ways to enjoy their caffeinated
(or decaffeinated) beverage,” notes Jordan
Rost, vice president of consumer insights at
New York City-based Nielsen. “Building on
the convenience factor, refrigerated liquid cof-
fee has seen significant growth in the last year,
with dollar sales up 10. 3 percent.”
This does not mean that retailers should
neglect their beloved, traditional coffee and
tea aisle, however.
David Bugni, assistant store manager at
Woodlake Market in Kohler, Wis., stocks
around 110 SKUs of coffee beans in the store’s
bulk bin whole-bean section. While cold brew
has taken off at a head-spinning rate over the
past few years, Bugni has noticed plenty of
shoppers still reaching for the whole beans.
NOT THE SAME OLD GRIND
“I have a lot of customers who are buying
whole bean and either grinding it in-store or
taking it home to grind,” Bugni says, adding
that beans from local companies are the best-sellers in his store. Bugni first started working
in coffee 12 years ago, and he says that when
he first broke into the business, flavored coffees were all the rage. Things have changed
dramatically since then as consumers have
become more conscience about their sugar
consumption and wary of ingredient lists.
Rost agrees, confirming that in recent years
consumers’ preference for product transparency has become more apparent.
“Coffee and tea categories are not immune