The one “specialty coffee” your customers value

Cafes often feel the pressure to keep up with industry trends. One example of this is the ‘speciality’ coffee phenomenon and what role does the term play in the average consumers daily decision-making process?

Perception versus reality

Let us preface this by declaring we’re big fans of specialty coffee. Huge, but we are also a fan of the facts – and when it comes to fanciful claims of coffee brands, credibility versus product integrity is misaligned as marketing calls the shots.

The term refers to coffee scoring 80 and above on the Specialty Coffee Association scale. Factors such as farm soil (usually on a microlot), plant-type, picking and processing procedures, as well as roasting practices combine to earn this highly regarded certification.

Unfortunately the term has been watered down and commoditised by companies co-opting it at will. The latter use the term loosely maximising the imbalance between food labelling and aspirational advertising paired with instagrammable experiences. These murky waters have buoyed a collective pool of ‘special’ coffees influencing consumer expectations, brand perceptions and business returns. So how are consumers supposed to separate fact from fiction?

In an Aussie market where a good $1 convenient coffee is dominating do consumers want the complex and unique flavour of specialty coffee or a great latte and is there value in the truth?

*Source:  The 2019 Square Australian Coffee Report The above data is based on millions of anonymised transactions from thousands of coffee bars and cafes across Australia between October 2018 and October 2019

Proof is in the product

In short, would a coffee by any other name taste as good to your regular customers? For a brand’s health, longevity and financial sustainability we suggest ensuring that consumers experience full might of your product, quality and service. Our belief is that your consistent expertise every time is what will define your speciality in the market.