Looking Back To Look Forward

Sept. 17, 2020
Our annual State of the Office Coffee Service Industry Report stirs bittersweet feelings

When prepping the State of the Office Coffee Service Industry report for this issue, I had the same bittersweet feeling I had when I was working on the State of the Industry report on vending and micro markets for the June/July issue. It just felt odd, in light of the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating such strong numbers from 2019 in what was a year of success for so many operators.

But as I pointed out in the analysis for the State of the Industry report, even though 2020 has been a very challenging year for operators, we came into the year stronger than ever. And that’s certainly the case with office coffee service (OCS), which had its biggest year yet, with revenues climbing 4.8% to $5.97 billion. Read all about the other findings from our annual report.

Many operators have reported that their OCS accounts have taken the biggest hit due to COVID-19. With fewer people working in offices, employers are looking to cut overhead costs, and OCS was one of the first to go for many accounts. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for OCS. Mike Ferguson has five survival tips for OCS operators who are open to thinking outside of the box.

Contributing editor Emily Jed wrote two fantastic pieces that you should definitely check out on your coffee break. Learn about how plant-based creamers and functional flavors are big wins with consumers, replicating their coffeehouse favorites in the office. For those who saw big losses in their OCS accounts, it’s important to stay on top of these trends as workers are starting to head back into the office. Since no coffee break is complete without snacks, Jed explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted consumers’ snacking habits (spoiler: they’re snacking more!) and how this could affect your vending and micro market accounts.

Our featured operator for September is Dependable Vending, which has achieved massive growth in their region by expanding services and products to meet its client’s needs. And for the small operators out there, contributor Gary Joyner challenges you to do business “the old fashioned way” — by earning it every day. Don’t miss his two easy tips to increase sales.

As we wrapped this issue, NAMA announced that it was cancelling the 2020 Coffee, Tea & Water Show. While we’re sad we won’t get to see you there, we look forward to meeting face-to-face again in 2021.