In the last few months, the world has changed. Customers are demanding more healthy alternatives for their favourite coffee shops to offer, as one of the trends for this year will be to eat local and healthy.
This quest for wholesome ingredients didn’t happen suddenly: an evolution of eating habits resulting from COVID-19 that should be continued even after the pandemic.
Now, more than never, consumers want to maximize their health to boost their immunity. According to research by FMCG Gurus made last year, 73% said that they planned to eat and drink healthier. This research surveyed consumers across 18 countries about food attitudes and behaviours during the pandemia.
Consequently, everything related to health will have the potential to grow in a world of post-pandemic. But how, exactly, is it going to happen? What to expect and how to be ready for that? How can coffee shops entire their menu?
We spoke with Sarah Allen from Barista Magazine, who has also observed this quest for wholesome drinks in customer’s choices.
Credit: Julia Khalimova
How the wholesome drinks are growing?
“Customers have been eager to see healthy options on cafe menus for a long time now, but during and after the pandemic, this demand has and will continue to grow exponentially,” said Sarah.
She remembers that, since early 2020, people have been aware of how important it is to protect their immune systems and practice healthy eating.
The difference is that many people are now in the habit of seeking out healthier alternatives to their previous coffee shop orders.
Changing Customers’ Habits
As we know, coffee shops have adapted to add new systems for takeout, delivery and repurposed their equipment and their layouts to facilitate new operations.
Simultaneously, customers had to create a space to work at home, one of the most significant changes in their routines.
However, staying at home does not mean that you have more free time, once they are still busy but still challenged to find the right balance between working time, friendships, family, and kids.
Therefore, the quest to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging. Though convenience is essential, many customers are already demanding more healthy alternatives.
Credit: Ahmed Aqtai
New opportunities for tea?
“We are seeing more customers seeking out high-quality, loose-leaf teas as an alternative to that third cup of coffee in the afternoon,” said Sarah.
Tea performs as an ultimate wellness drink once it includes multiple benefits such as zero calories, antioxidant properties, and the natural calming effect. As COVID-19 has made health and wellness a priority for many consumers, this can boost tea interest.
It is an excellent opportunity to add natural ingredients and flavours and be creative to your tea menu as a versatile drink.
What is the best temperature?
The water temperature can vary depending on the tea. For example, 90–95ºC (Black and Pu’er: 90–95ºC), 80–95ºC (Oolong and white), 60–80ºC (Green).
In any one of those cases, the temperature is critical to finding the tea’s best flavour. That is to say, there are some vital points to consider serving perfect tea.
Boiling water can burn the tea’s taste, while cold water may not show its full potential. When brewing tea, the variable water temperature directly ties into the tea processing method, such as dry heat, steam heat, rolling, and bruising.
As customers become used to brewing high-quality tea at home, coffee shops should look into higher quality, local tea offerings.
Check this article to learn more about how water quality temperature affects your tea.
Why is it essential to have the right equipment?
It is vital to guarantee the water quality, considering it provides everything the body needs to function well. Although this is another reason to consider: lousy water quality can impact the taste, smell, and process of infusion of tea or coffee.
FRIIA is the best opportunity for operators to replace bottled water with point-of-use systems and offer hot, cold, and sparkling water. That way, it will be possible to add more quality and alternatives to tea or coffee preparation.
The unique design minimal countertop footprint frees up significant space on the counter for tea, coffee, fruit, bottles, or glassware, facilitating the barista’s daily life who is looking to create healthy alternatives.
Furthermore, both baristas and customers can easily use hands-free FRIIA cold water fonts to provide an utterly touch-free experience safe and hygienic and guarantee more comfort day-to-day basis to everyone.
How can a Coffee Shop Create a Healthy Menu?
One way is to ask your baristas to play with ingredients and create signature drinks to satisfy consumer’s needs for healthier drinks.
“You could even make it into a contest with the prize being that you would put the winning drink on the menu,” suggested Sarah.
What kind of ingredients should I add to the menu?
To meet your customers’ needs, you should check the following suggestions and add them to your coffee shop menu:
1 – Flavoured water
One good idea is to add lemons, mint, orange, apples, strawberries, and cucumbers to a jug full of water to create a nutrient-infused refreshing drink.
2 – Sparkling water
Add lemon juice and other squeezed fruit juices to mix with sparkling water.
One of the reasons is that sparkling water is an excellent alternative to sugar and produces a bubbly drink with less CO2.
3 – Coconut water
As the healthiest drink on the whole planet, coconut water not only helps in your digestion but also in many other metabolic processes.
This drink helps to balance sodium in our system, eliminate toxins and boost our immune system.
Adapting to these new times will be a different process for every coffee shop. It is essential to show your customers that you care and understand current situations.
“I recommend cafe owners talk to their customers and ask what additional items they would like to see on the menu. Perhaps they have creative ideas you haven’t thought of,” said Sarah.
Credit: Olenka Sergienko
A fresh start
The offer for healthy eating is so great, even big brands such as McDonald’s and KFC are getting in on the trend, about the eight best cities for vegan by National Geographic.
After detecting the healthy demand, Starbucks has a restaurant in Seattle, USA, that features a 100% plant-based food menu. They are getting ready to offer more vegetables, focusing on attending to people who want to try healthy drinks.
“Plant-based beverages— oat, soy, almond, rice, coconut, and even hemp — are much healthier than regular cow milk in espresso-based drinks,” said Sarah.
She also mentions that many of the companies at the forefront of this trend have formulated their products specifically to steam well and pour beautiful latte art.
Why a healthy alternative?
Operators must be open to talking to customers about food sourcing, ingredient lists, nutrition facts, allergy concerns, and others such as social and ecological impacts.
In a word that tea and coffee can be easy to make at home, the healthy alternatives also offer an opportunity to use sustainable ingredients and create a new attraction for consumers, encouraging them to visit the coffee shop.
Baristas will also be more encouraged to seek new combinations with sustainable ingredients.
Having a healthier menu means meeting the needs of each customer. When an operator opts for more beneficial demand, it is also creating a cleaner future.
“This is a great opportunity to refresh your menu, engage with your customers, and inspire your staff all to stay current and relevant with your menu offerings,” said Sarah.
It is necessary to be ready to meet consumer demand for healthy, natural ingredients and sustainability. Remember: be creative, and now is the perfect time to do that.
By Andressa Lara