Is there a science to selling coffee?

23 July 2016 / By Peter Vee

Coffee consumers are getting street smart

Off the top of my tongue I'd have to say no, there is absolutely no science to selling coffee. I mean coffee consumption has become one of those crazes where if don't drink coffee you're looked down on. In fact, whenever I go into a Wimpy and see a handful of persistent smokers isolated to a glass box puffing and eating, puffing and eating I feel sorry for them. With the way the coffee craze is going, very soon we'll get to that level where non-coffee drinkers will be isolated to a small glass box of non-par takers. The dealing of coffee beans worldwide has gotten to risk-level where production can't possible match demand. The U.S. Coffee market is currently worth 18 Billion dollars and is growing at 20% per annum. With these facts, how can selling coffee be a science? In fact selling coffee seems to be a no-brainier.

We recently did a stand for Lavazza coffee at this years Coffee and Chocolate festival at Montecasino. Here are some of the pictures. In our opinion the best looking stand on the lot of hundreds of stands.

Coffee consumption at this festival was at an all-time snob level. Coffee has now gone from decent bean to cup to single origin, only aeropressed at the perfect temperature with ground beans only as coarse as sea salt exposed to the water for no longer than... give me break! If it's not from the anus of a civet monkey then I'm not interested kind of coffee consumption. Stands at this Coffee festival that had clearly spent a lot of money on their stands were standing around twiddling their thumbs with no sales at all. There were however stands that were pumping and were clearly doing something right. The Lavazza stand I must say was busy with coffee enthusiasts, which could've been due to a number of things.

It's the culmination of all of these things that form the perfect "science" of coffee sales. I frequent a coffee shop in Woodstock called the Espresso Lab where the science of coffee is what they're all about. This science is not only on a taste level, but on a visual stimulation level, smell of roasted beans and the sight of baristas in white lab coats that makes you feel like you're in coffee Eden. After a double shot at the lab, a visit to the usual coffee spot could leave you feeling short changed. It's similar to a visit to a MAC makeup shop, while you're in there and you're experiencing the whole world of MAC it's difficult to walk out without having spent your grocery money whether you're makeup wearing or not.

Going back to the coffee and choc fest, the experience of coffee has far surpassed the need for a good coffee. This experience similar the espresso lab had to target as many senses as possible in order to sell and retain a new age coffee enthusiast. There will always be a place for normal coffee, but with the level of professionalism that coffee consumption has reached, design, presentation and the skill of sales is now needed to retain a consumer. If we have to dum it down, everyone is picking a bean, drying a bean, grinding a bean, exposing a bean to water and drinking a bean product. I am fully aware that my childish approach to this extremely complex process of coffee production is not accurate at all, but I'm simply saying that everybody has the base product, but very few make it a success. This, dear friends is where the science of coffee sales comes in.

It's the tone of your brand, it's the message of your communication, it's the way you understand your client and the way you tickle their ears, appease their eyes and tantalize their taste buds. Sounds like advertising to me and that's where we come in.

About The Author

Peter Vee

Peter Vee is a Creative Director with a mind for digital and an eye for a winning concept.