What Does the Stumptown Acquisition Mean for Office Coffee?

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Our VP of OCS and Chair of NAMA Howard Chapman weighs in on the Stumptown acquisition and how it affects office coffee as a whole.

The announcement earlier this month that Peet’s Coffee & Tea acquired Stumptown Coffee is just another indication that coffee is big business…and more. 

Last year, consumers swallowed 90 million gallons of ready-to-drink coffee beverages, ranging from bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos to cartons of Stumptown cold brew, up 52 percent from 2009, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corporation

By contrast, sales of soft drinks dropped for five straight years to 12.8 billion gallons last year. That was down 9% from 2009. The demand for cold brew coffee is just exploding.  In fact, when Peet's, replaced traditional iced coffee with cold brew in June of this year, it saw cold brew sales exceed last year's iced coffee sales by as much as 70 percent.

What we in the OCS business must to do compete in an office setting is to create a  “coffee shop experience” in the office.  From our coffee and tea offerings to condiments, flavorings and more, we have to be as good, or better, than the coffee shop around the corner so that our clients’ employees don’t prefer to bring that Starbucks latte with them to work.

As always, the challenge is to replicate this experience in a self-service environment without a trained barista.  The convergence of  more sophisticated equipment and quality shelf-stable products is making this a possibility.  Even better, some top-notch OCS operators are sourcing cold brew kegs from local micro-roasters and seeing success. 

Yes, it takes a little extra work to execute.  However, the payoff comes in the form of new customers and retaining current ones.  

In my opinion, that's just good business.

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