POUR’D from Marco: Custom beverages are hot, cold and profitable

Dec. 7, 2022
Gen Z and morning hot-coffee drinkers who are seeking an afternoon pick-me-up are driving the surging demand for iced coffee drinks. For OCS operators, POUR’D is the perfect solution.

Gen Z and morning hot-coffee drinkers who are seeking an afternoon pick-me-up are driving the surging demand for iced coffee drinks. For OCS operators, POUR’D is the perfect solution.

In an August 2nd earnings call to stockholders, Howard D. Schultz, founder and interim chief executive officer of Seattle-based Starbucks Corp., told investors that “customer demand for specifically customized cold coffee beverages, a category Starbucks single-handedly created and is now expanding around the world, is so strong that cold beverages now account for roughly 75% of our total beverage sales in U.S. company-operated stores.”

POUR’D gaining traction

Schultz’s revelation is music to the ears of Matt Dudley, North American sales director at Marco Beverage Systems, as its POUR’D system, which delivers hot and cold coffee drinks, is beginning to gain significant traction with OCS operators.

“We're having operators approach us about POUR'D in particular because of its ability to do cold coffee-based beverages and its ability to use coffee as an ingredient for these cold, specialty-based beverages right there in the workplace,” said Dudley. “If our barometer of the environment is buying patterns in large retail coffee chains like Starbucks, it’s a good indicator of what end users are wanting in the workplace. That translates well for our POUR'D equipment.”

Cold coffee is soaring

Dudley notes that industry reports show cold-brew coffee sales soared in 2022, while iced coffee was also up. Even though sales of iced coffee increased less than cold brew, iced coffee is still the cold coffee beverage of choice.

A recent Forbes Magazine article on the astronomical growth of cold coffee drinks pointed to Gen Z as the group driving the trend, noting that “cold beverages resonate most with Gen Z, but also with the morning hot-coffee consumers who want an afternoon pick-me-up.”

OCS operators are capitalizing

OCS operators are capitalizing on the cold coffee beverage wave by offering customization options to end users, Dudley said. “The obvious products are syrups and specialized milk products. These ancillary products can add significant sales for an OCS operator.”

“One successful strategy we have seen from operators is to utilize coffee concentrate as the base product with POUR’D,” Dudley observed. “Instead of starting with an RTD, a ready-to-drink coffee, consider starting with a concentrate instead, a bag-in-the-box concentrate of cold brew. That can then be used for a cold brew beverage, but also for those specialty iced beverages.”

Iced beverages need ice

Iced beverage drinks require ice, and for operators, that translates to another revenue source. “There is a reason why we saw so many ice machines at the CTW show in Las Vegas,” Dudley said. “Cold coffee drinks are driving the demand, and it will be unusual to see an office without an ice machine as the demand for cold coffee drinks continues to grow.”

POUR’D is a crowd pleaser

“The biggest ‘oohs and ahs’ that we hear in presenting to an office is that moment when the office manager understands that their staff can make a caramel ice latte right there on the spot, super easy," Dudley said. “When we present to an operator, the ‘aha moment’ comes when they realize how profitable that caramel iced latte is for them – just by using coffee concentrate with POUR’D as opposed to the RTD cold brew. For end users and operators, POUR’D is a crowd pleaser.”

A competitive advantage

Dudley points out that operators who work with Marco Beverage Systems enjoy one other notable advantage over their competition – sales leads. “We have always generated sales opportunities for operators because of interest in FRIIA, our hot, cold and sparking drinking water system,” he said. “With the surging demand for iced specialty beverages, the sales leads from workplaces is stronger than ever. Interest in POUR’D is opening some big doors for the operators who work with us.”

The need for OCS operators

“If you look at the client relationship from our side, it’s possible for a customer to buy their own FRIIA system for their office and then utilize an operator to service the equipment. With POUR’D, it’s imperative that we partner with an operator to be able to sell and install that piece of equipment, but also to provide the product that goes with it,” Dudley said.

“What could be better for an OCS operator than an account that wants coffee, cold brew and customized iced beverages? These are the type of clients that will bring OCS revenue back very quickly in 2023,” he added.

To learn more about POUR’D and FRIIA, contact Matt Dudley, Marco’s North American sales director, at 704-492-6601 or [email protected].


Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer and contributing editor of Automatic Merchandiser/VendingMarketWatch.com. He advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up and specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically. Tullio’s b2b Perspective Channel has developed a loyal YouTube following.

Tullio delivers this promise to any company that hires him for a 30-minute or 1-hour Zoom call: "One short session with me will elevate the performance of your sales team.”


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