Coffee Emerges as a Key Growth Area; National Expo Has it Covered

In today’s tough economic times, one area of our industry is skyrocketing: coffee service. According to Automatic Merchandiser’s “State of the Coffee Industry” Report, the coffee service industry is entering its fourth consecutive year of 5-percentage point revenue increase, and in 2007/2008 OCS sales surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time.

Anyone interested in tapping into the profits associated with this enormous market should be sure to attend the NAMA National Expo Oct. 15 to 17.

Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 15, coffee service operators won’t want to miss the Quality Coffee Certification Program (QCCP.) Sponsored by Folgers, with in kind sponsorships from Everpure and Newco Enterprises, the program covers everything an operator needs to know about brewing the very best coffee possible.

Comprehensive coffee insight

It starts with a review of the history of coffee, looks at different varieties of beans and how roasting changes the flavor. Participants will taste different blends and single origin coffees from growing regions around the world and have the opportunity to taste and evaluate coffee brewed with standard tap water, softened water, and filtered tap water and with reverse osmosis.

Attendees will learn first-hand how much effect water has on coffee and how to help their customers with their water issues. Finally, participants will evaluate the impact on the brewing process in different single-cup brewers currently on the market and will enjoy a lunch sponsored by Holiday House and Kool Tek.

The session is incredibly powerful for several reasons. First, according to the Automatic Merchandiser report mentioned above, consumers are willing to pay extra for good coffee, and this session will show operators what they need to do to produce the premium product customers want.

Second, customer loyalty should be the goal of all coffee service operators; they buy a broader range of products from you and they remain a customer longer. One way to learn how to build customer loyalty is to attend the QCCP to better understand how you can meet all of your customer’s needs and better cultivate loyal customers.

Open coffee service forum

Coffee service operators also won’t want to miss the Coffee Service Open Forum to be held on Friday morning. Sponsored by Procter & Gamble Inc. and moderated by Steve Hyde, vice president of sales, Newco Enterprises, a panel of experts from different segments of the coffee service industry will discuss ideas and challenges in current coffee trends, single-cup equipment, water, tea and operations issues that will map the future of the industry.

In addition to the sessions that are designed specifically for coffee service operators, there are also many business oriented programs designed to help everyone find new ways to profit in today’s difficult economy.

Brad Bachtelle of Bachtelle and Associates will deliver the keynote address, “Recession Management: Do’s and Don’ts for Difficult Times,” which will help attendees learn how
to keep more of what they’ve earned by making necessary adjustments in different areas of operation. The session is designed to walk attendees through a variety of non-traditional steps and strategies, such as partnering with locations and focusing on new account acquisitions.

Selling advice

Another important session to help members of the industry cope with today’s tough economic environment is “Sales Simplified,” by Rick Leffke, president of Leffke & Associates. During this session, he will discuss the three distinct areas of focus in selling that can have significant impact on growth results in a business: establishing a sales process that has a clear, transferable road map; understanding the wants, interest and needs of our customers and potential customers, and establishing accountability through clear expectations.

For more information, go to: www.vending.org.

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