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Boosting the to-go coffee experience

Consumers may be busier than ever before, but they’re not skipping over their morning coffee stops. In fact, hot beverage sales are still an area of opportunity for operators: Consumers purchase an average of 3.6 beverages per week from restaurants and other foodservice locations.

Coffee shops and other quick-service concepts can cater to on-the-go customers by optimizing the coffee experience, including offering high-quality to-go cups that offer a convenient, portable cup of joe.

On-the-go beverage consumption fueling coffee visits

It’s no secret that coffee has profit power for restaurants. Technomic’s recent Beverage report finds that 64% of consumers have drank it in the past month, whether at home or from a foodservice outlet.

Many of these visits are likely happening on-the-go. “In general, consumer lifestyles are becoming more mobile,” says Erica Colgan, Product Manager at Huhtamaki. “Coffee has always been an important part of the morning routine for many people, but with busier schedules, it’s often easier to grab a cup to go while on the way to work, school or errands.”

This means that operators need to offer sturdy, insulated to-go cups that don’t buckle under the heat of a hot drink and can keep consumers’ hands cool while keeping the drink hot until they get to their destination.

What makes a high-quality cup?

Consumers have almost limitless choices for where they get their coffee in the morning. While the taste and temperature of the beverage are going to determine whether customers keep returning to the same place, high-quality to-go cups enhance the experience.

A great to-go cup starts with proper insulation. While many busy professionals don’t have the time to linger over a cup of coffee in the morning, they want it to stay hot on the go. Not only do quality cups keep beverages at the right temperature for a longer period of time, but they also make it more comfortable to hold—something that’s important for customers who stop in before their morning commutes. “With proper insulation, drinks will stay hot and the cup stays comfortable to the touch, making it easier to hold during commutes and while on-the-go,” says Colgan.

Brand-building power

Restaurants and coffee shops have a prime opportunity for branding with to-go cups, and branding capability is more important than ever, as more consumers take their coffee to-go. Foodservice providers can print logos and other branding on the outside of cups, which increases brand recall for consumers. With branded cups, an operator can gain additional exposure.

Huhtamaki’s Comfort Cup® insulated hot cup allows for superior branding opportunity, which Colgan says “allows operators to showcase their brand in a high-quality way. And now, the extended sleeve provides even more room for branding.”

Developing a great to-go cup

Colgan notes that Huhtamaki invested in research and testing to develop the new Comfort Cup® insulated hot cup. “From thermal imaging to hold tests and strength testing, we were always aiming to develop a hot cup that would rival the top-performing and most-popular cup on the market,” she says.

The best-designed to-go cups will take into consideration consumer needs and preferences, and adapt to those needs. And, Colgan says, “Based on testing results from the finished product, we’re now industry-leading when it comes to insulation and strength.”

Beyond just offering a great tasting drink, the proper to-go cup is key in keeping customers satisfied. With on-the-go coffee consumption on the rise, operators should ensure they’re offering not only a high quality product, but also a high quality cup.

This post is sponsored by Huhtamaki

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