2013

Four Opportunities

David Gross

Healthy Opportunity: The driving force behind the health and wellness movement is Opportunity. Opportunities exist across the board, across America. The surveys are showing the trend. The market demand is clear. Your business can thrive among a cluster of competition seeking to outperform you in the health and wellness arena. Reach for the fresh fruit, the natural and organic choices, energy boosts, less sugar and carbs, the more menu innovation that differentiates you, can put you a step ahead.

America is Primed and Ready. America is already running to a greater consciousness about calorie-intake, organic foods and supplements, and disease-prevention via good nutrition. They might stop for a sugar-glazed donut once in a while, but they’ll take the healthful, vitamin-rich choices at every other opportunity; new opportunities arrive every day.

Would you Like Repeat Customers? Give them what they’re looking for: a menu board centered on healthy choices. You’ve got a guaranteed four-opportunities a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the snacks in-between. Make each opportunity count. Your customer base will come in looking at options. Give them sweets, they’ll take one and see you again maybe next month. Give them the option of adding a multivitamin boost to their frappé, smoothie, or iced coffee, and as the trends show, they will visit you more often. Most people are in a rush, and they’re looking for convenience. They eat every day, and they visit a coffee concept every day. Offer them a quick, healthy option, and you’ve got yourself a regular customer.

Marketing Healthy Menu Items is Easy. Most manufacturers of frappé mixes, chai mixes, and smoothie mixes have followed Starbucks’ lead and reduced the amount of sugar, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrups. So, if you are buying from the same drink mix manufacturers that you were using even two or three years ago, you have already begun to serve healthier drinks! If your refrigerated drink case contains Functional RTD Beverages such as Vitamin Water, Energy Drinks, Arizona Iced tea with ginseng, Horizon Organic milk fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D, then you are currently providing what your customers want- healthy menu items.

Example: Starbucks Buys Evolution Juice. “This is the first of many things we’re going to do around health and wellness. We’re not only acquiring a juice company, but we’re using this acquisition to build a broad-based, multi-million dollar health and wellness business over time.”- Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO, Starbucks Corporation

What the Leaders in the Coffee Industry are Doing. Because the leaders are the ones who have the wherewithal to study consumer trends, you should apply their tactics to your shop as well.  When they make changes, those changes are a reflection of consumer research.

There’s No Way to Miss the National Health & Wellness Movement. The consumer is demanding healthier menu items. You can capitalize on that, and here’s how to do it: Healthier menu items with less fat and sugars; Drinks with added vitamins and boosts; Packaged grab-and-go snacks and sandwiches with reduced fat and higher protein contents.

Research Shows It. “Fresh fruit is not only the top snack food consumed in America, it is also one of the fastest growing,” according to the summation of research conducted by National Purchase Dairy. “Taking the who, what, when, and where of fresh fruit consumption into account, the point to be made is that fresh fruit is a top-of-mind snack with most consumers,” says Darren Seifer, National Purchase Diary.

Health: Who’s concerned about health? Your customers, most importantly. The major players are showing their concern for meeting that demand: Starbucks, PepsiCo Brands, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, The Partnership for a Healthier America, the American consumer … and you too, right?

Innovation. Consumer trends indicate a need for more than just a cup of coffee, and they’re looking for more than just a banana on a tray. The big companies are stepping up innovation, introducing unique products, and building a menu board that is directed towards Health and Wellness. If it is just coffee you’re offering your customers will still be attracted to innovation. The demand is there for supplement boosts added into the beverages. They’re looking for nutritional boosts in the refrigerated beverage case as well, like Vitamin Water, Energy drinks, and bottled teas with boosts in them.

Originally, the coffee shop served coffee and pastries. Next came the frappé and the smoothies. Now, boosts are being added to the blended beverages, pastries are getting their sugar content dropped, and the ready-to-drink beverages have gone from simple bottled water, to choices including bottled nutrition and energy drinks.

Conclusion:
Get Noticed by Telling Your Customers. Make yourself known. If you’re using the same products you were using several years ago, chances are that you are already selling lower sugar-content beverages. The manufacturers have already done most of the work by changing their ingredient base. The difference now is whether or not you are letting your customers know it. Surveys show that people are looking for, preferring, and willing to pay more, based on key words. Put signage on your windows or your walls. Tell your sales team to talk it up with the customers. In summation, if you’re not geared toward health and wellness, get on board. If you already are on board, put the word out where your customers can see it.

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