Brew more sales

This piece was originally published in July’s issue of Dealer Support

Martyn Bell, category marketing manager for Kenco, explains why coffee is an office supply essential that could boost your sales

Throughout history, humans have always shared stories over food and drink with their tribes to strengthen social bonds. The communal kitchen, or corner of the office where the kettle sits, is an important facilitator of this in modern company culture.

Within the workplace, coffee plays an increasingly important role, with research by office supplier Staples finding that 84% of workers drink coffee every day and feel like their day hasn’t started until they’ve had their first cup. Perhaps more surprising is that nearly a third of employees would rather streak naked through the main street of their town than give up coffee for a year.

The Staples survey found that, on average, employees consume two cups of coffee each day and research from Allegra (Project Café 2018) found that, in the UK, people drink around 10 cups of coffee at home and six cups at work each week, meaning coffee is a regular office consumable.

Coffee offers workers the chance for a five-minute screen break and a chat, with research pointing to how this helps employees cope with workplace stress. Another study, published in Symbolic Interaction, followed a team in Denmark working on a large-scale merger; it found they formed ‘communities of coping’ during coffee breaks with co-workers, which allowed for social interaction and the sharing of professional opinions and personal frustrations. Of course, coffee is also a mild stimulant; this can help productivity and the bottom line – a win-win for employee and employer.

Armed with this knowledge it’s easy to see how important your coffee offering is to your customers. It presents an enormous opportunity for you to drive hot beverage sales alongside other business essentials.

Aside from the fact that it’s much easier to sell more to existing customers than to recruit new ones, hot beverages are high value, light and easy to manage. What’s more, instant coffee is easy to understand, has a long shelf life and can offer a steady turnover on top of traditional stationery supplies.

It’s important for businesses to provide employees with the same quality coffee they’re used to at home with a household name brand they trust. Offering good quality instant coffee to your SME customers makes their lives easier too, as they can purchase all required goods from a single supplier, with just one invoice and delivery, offering economies of scale and reduced admin for them and a margin opportunity for you.

A wealth of opportunities is available to office supply dealers to promote and drive sales of coffee. You can point them in the right direction by offering instant sticks for them to try around the office, or by organising a tasting. By partnering with a recognisable brand, tapping into office trends and promoting great offers in store and online, you can capitalise on a thriving industry that’s expected to continue to see sales grow.

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