What Does The Stumptown Acquisition Mean For OCS?

Oct. 26, 2015

The announcement earlier this month that Peet’s Coffee & Tea acquired Stumptown Coffee is just another indication that coffee is big business…and more (see New York Times clipping below). 

Last year, consumers swallowed 90 million gallons of ready-to-drink coffee beverages, ranging from bottled Starbucks Frappuchinos to cartons of Stumptown cold brew, up 52 percent from 2009, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corporation. 

By contrast, sales of soft drinks dropped for five straight years to 12.8 billion gallons last year. That was down nine percent from 2009. The demand for cold brew coffee is just exploding.  In fact, when Peet's, replaced traditional iced coffee with cold brew in June of this year, it saw cold brew sales exceed last year's iced coffee sales by as much as 70 percent.

What we in the OCS business must to do compete in an office setting is to create a “coffee shop experience” in the office.  From our coffee and tea offerings to condiments, flavorings and more, we have to be as good or better than the coffee shop around the corner so that our clients’ employees don’t prefer to bring that Starbucks latte with them to work.

As always, the challenge is to replicate this experience in a self-service environment without a trained barista.  The convergence of more sophisticated equipment and quality shelf-stable products is making this a possibility. Even better, some top-notch OCS operators are sourcing cold brew kegs from local micro-roasters and seeing success. 

Yes, it takes a little extra work to execute.  However, the payoff comes in the form of new customers and retaining current ones.  In my opinion, that's just good business.

To read more, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/business/dealbook/peets-buys-stumptown-coffee-roasters.html

This blog originally appeared on LinkedIn and was reprinted with permission.