Espresso: Why are millennials driving growth in grab-n-go retailing?

Nov 2, 2015|

Millennials are sometimes described as a finicky, selfish group. The truth is, many agree this generation is the most globalized of all generations at a much younger age. A characteristic of this globalized exposure is the ability to be selectively decisive in their food and beverage options. They are at ease with specialty food and beverage choices and want access to a variety of selections and a variety of distribution points.

A 40+ year-old might strike a curious eye at a new barista station at the local convenience store. Millennials are more likely to give the same store kudos through a Twitter account for cutting the morning drive time in half by combining two stops with one (in addition to thanking the store for cutting carbon emissions too!).

And while all consumer groups continue to be driven by value and striking the mega-coupon, all consumers groups are equally open to the idea of paying for premiumization, especially if the product aligns with their lifestyle and values. This includes premiumization of coffee beverages. Millennials will stand in line for a hand pour coffee. But they also know that sometimes that isn’t possible when grabbing coffee in the office, changing classes in the Science building, or rushing through the lobby of a hotel while business traveling. In any of these environments, though, they want to be in control and easily move through the process.

Technology also helps drive their selectively decisive mentality. If they order a specialty drink and the barista (or bartender!) doesn’t know how to prepare it, they quickly find and share the recipe through the technology in their hand at the counter. Incidentally, the bartender might perceive this to be an infringement on his/her job duties, but Millennials have grown up collaborating in groups and love to help the team succeed by sharing best practices.

You can use this knowledge to apply to a successful superautomatic espresso program:

USER INTERFACE ART - When designing a User Interface on the espresso machine, make it relevant by using large photographs. Avoid icons and use actual pictures of the beverages. Because Millennials like to share, they are more at ease with food photos than illustrations or icons. Bonus: high gloss professional photos share the same importance as spontaneous photos.

USER INTERFACE NAVIGATION - Don’t have this type of customer review choices that don’t apply. They want ease of choice and wonder why a company could not code selections to their preference.

OPTIONS – Because of their globalized knowledge, Millennials are familiar with origin and have opinions on beans from origin. Give them an option of bean choices. They also appreciate options in nutrition. So options for milk fat content resonate highly and mimic the options they have while standing at their coffee bar.

MENU DISRUPTION – As another BUNN blog trend post describes, cold coffee drinks will continue to drive consumption. An Iced Cappuccino isn’t just popular in the afternoon any longer. Millennials like to start their morning beverages with a cold drink as much as a hot choice.

AVOID “TMI” - Because they know they can readily find information when it fits their schedule if they are interested, this generation doesn’t want to know what is happening behind the scenes operationally.

They expect the option to be stocked with product and ready to dispense. Keep messages such as “LOW MILK” or “CLEANING RECOMMENDED” routed behind the scenes to the proper channel and out of the way of the consumer. This can be effectively managed in grab-n-go retail through remote equipment management. 

Jump in to capitalize on this generation’s openness to engaging with equipment if it means they can find their favorite coffee drinks at their convenience store, office break station, in the hotel lobby, or student union.

Click this link to learn more about solutions BUNN has to offer when it comes to satisfying the the growing demand for espresso.


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