How Coffee Roasters Choose Their Coffees And Why It Matters
We love learning about how roasters choose their coffees and how this impacts their brand, customer experience, and bottom line.
When we talk to coffee roasters, we often hear that they have a very specific way of choosing their coffee. Some are very meticulous and follow a strict set of criteria. Others are more flexible and choose based on taste or other factors.
What we've discovered is that regardless of how you choose your coffee, the most important thing is that you have a clear strategy for sourcing it. If you're offering a seasonal selection of coffees, this means that even though your line up will change with the seasons, consumers can always count on what to expect from you. They know what kinds of coffees you'll be offering, so they can plan accordingly when they buy their next bag.
We once worked with a roaster that was clear they only wanted to make available naturals that underwent extended and experimental fermentation. They're appealing to specialty coffee enthusiasts who have a palate for their kind of coffee. For sure, people into fruity coffees enjoy their selection.
It's no secret that the specialty coffee industry has been struggling with customer loyalty for a long time. But what if we're looking at this problem all wrong?
Maybe the low customer loyalty dilemma so many roasters experience can be solved through creative sourcing and clear customer experience standards. And, targeting.
People love to shop. And they love to buy coffee. What we've learned, though, is that specialty coffee consumers aren't just buying the same coffee repeatedly, they are buying from 3 to 4 roasters on rotation. But here's the thing: they can't articulate how one roaster is different than another. They know there is a difference but can't put their finger on it.
So, what does this mean for your business? It means you need to think outside the box when looking for new coffees. When sourcing coffees think of how this will affect your ability to continually differentiate yourself and to build a clear customer expectation.
When sourcing coffees, here are some things to consider:
-Who is your target audience?
-What do they like? What do they not like?
-Is the coffee fitting with the current trend or is it edgy enough to stand out?
-What would you like to be known for?