Twenty-one percent is the convenience store’s share of the restaurant coffee industry. However, a fractional amount of this is iced espresso or blended/frozen coffee which tremendously lags in success compared with other channels. (Source: National Coffee Association, Samuel Nahmias, principal and COO of StudyLogic, Cedarhurst, N.Y.)
Creating an experience of freshly-brewed, quality iced coffee in the brisk c-store environment can be challenging. The industry as a whole has not figured out how to target the biggest consumer age group of 18-24 year olds and embrace that iced coffee is a growing trend—not just fad.
However, as the industry continues to shift towards a foodservice experience, c-stores are ideally positioned to capture the demand of iced coffee lovers.
According to Mintel research, the market share of cold-brew drinks as a percent of all coffee sales in U.S. coffeehouse and restaurant menus rose from 19% in 2009 to 24% during the first quarter of 2013 (Source: NACS Online). Dunkin’ Donuts conducted an independent study that revealed the most popular time of the day for an iced coffee is between 10 am and 2 pm (41%), followed closely by 2 pm to 6 pm (37%). By having an iced coffee program, c-stores can attract that heavily sought afternoon day-part, where most consumers crave a salty before-dinner snack alongside a beverage "pick-me-up”.
So, how do convenience stores looking to bolster their existing coffee programs enter in to this highly competitive market space and execute a well-developed iced coffee program?