Sell More Stuff: It's Coffee Break Time

Feb. 2, 2016

When do you drink coffee during the day? Is it in the morning to get you going? Or is it an afternoon  ‘pick-me-up’? Do you switch to decaf later in the day?

As usual, you’re wondering "what does this have to do with my business?" As you will see, there is an opportunity here. If we figure out how to capitalize on it, we can identify creative ways to increase daily transactions and drive profitable incremental sales.

There was an article in Forbes (in January 2014) – “Why the best time to drink coffee is not first thing in the morning.” When you read that headline, your first thought is “that is bad news for my OCS sales.” But dig deeper in the article and you’ll learn about the natural peaks of cortisol, a stress-related hormone our bodies produce. You want to be sure that you’re maximizing sales at the times when cortisol naturally is lower. 

Don’t do anything to change the typical surge of coffee sales early in morning.

Instead, focus on the three dayparts mentioned in the article. That’s between 9:30-11:30 AM, at 1:30 PM and at 5:00 PM. How can you sell more coffee at those times? Try these (and other) ideas:

1. How can you merchandise and market what you are offering to attract people to visit the “store” more often during the day?

2. What else can you sell at those times?

3. What can you bundle with the coffee? A combo deal is a better value for the shopper as well as more revenue for you.

4. Is there a way to sell a “drive-home” cup of coffee? Should you offer a personalized commuter cup that shoppers can reuse daily? Maybe it will encourage that 5:00 PM purchase.

Let’s hear about how you’ve capitalized the best times of the day to sell more coffee.

I’ve been digging in to food science and biology lately. This time it’s about coffee. But more broadly, there is much to be learned about what we eat, when we eat, why these foods (beverages and snacks) are “good for you” (GFY) or not, where we buy and consume food and how we can develop (allegedly) better eating habits. There will be more insights and opportunities you’ll discover in food, snacks and other beverages.  

About the Author

Paul Schlossberg | Contributing Editor

Paul Schlossberg is the president of D/FW Consulting, which helps clients merchandise and market products in impulse intense selling environments, such as vending, foodservice and convenience stores. He can be reached at [email protected] or 972-877-2972;

Most recently he has begun writing a bimonthly online column titled "Sell More Stuff" featured on