12 MARCH 2017 CATEGORY FOCUS The Culture Club IS YOUR HOT BEVERAGES OFFERING AT BOILING POINT?! Demand for hot beverages spans all areas of foodservice, and catering for the specific needs of your customers is crucial. Whilst hotels, restaurants, pubs and coffee shops need to look at ways to entice and upsell, education caterers may concentrate more on health, cost and sustainability issues. For care caterers, the focus is often on ensuring that residents stay well hydrated, as well as providing a good selection of hot drinks for visitors. Tea and coffee are everyday staples, but even these categories are divided into numerous offshoots, with a multitude of different varieties and flavours now on the market. Coffee shops According to Brita Professional, a whopping 80% of UK consumers visit a coffee shop at least once a week, and some 16% do so on a daily basis. So it’s clear that going out for a hot drink is now a central part of our lifestyle in the UK. We are drinking three cups a week on average, spending £4.07 with each visit, and over half of us are maintaining our coffee shop visit frequency compared with 12 months ago. Hot drinks to go A third of consumers now buy takeaway coffees, with a fifth buying eight or more cups per week, contributing to a booming market worth £1.6billion a year. The biggest fans of coffee to go are 25-38 year olds. Many caterers take pride in the appearance and provenance of their coffee and food, and this extends to every part of the café culture experience – including takeaway drinks. Custom printing presents an opportunity for a brand to tell its story, or make ties with local artists. Teresa Suter, Vegware’s sales director, says: “With the recent furore around coffee cup recycling, many cafés want to offer eco-friendly alternatives to their customers. Vegware’s packaging is completely compostable, and made from plant-based, low carbon materials. We find eco packaging adds value to a café’s offering; it helps customers see the brand favourably.” Campus cuppas Sales of hot drinks on university campuses rose by 11% last year with on-site coffee shops credited for persuading discerning students to stay rather than heading off to the High Street for their caffeine fix. A range of comfortable seating along with free WiFi are key to attracting students, says Katie Rolph consumer insight executive, Litmus Partnership, and speedy service is essential. According to Technomic, a third of Millennials (18-24s) are discouraged by the bitter taste of unflavoured coffee, leading to many students choosing to add flavouring syrups to their drink, so be sure you offer a range of suitable coffee options. Lactose-free drinks are also a must. Care homes and hospitals As people age, their thirst reflex decreases so care home caterers must endeavour to ensure that residents’ daily fluid intake is 6-8 drinks per day. This figures includes hot beverages and is not limited to water. Finding out an older person’s preference for their drinks is key and then building up the intake to the desired level. Tea and coffee are typically served at meal times and mid morning and afternoon breaks, but at supper time a hot milk-based drink is a good option, for example, Horlicks, Ovaltine or hot chocolate - as it helps increase calorific and calcium intake through the milk.
Stir it up magazine March 2017
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