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The growth of hot chocolate

17 June 2008
The growth of hot chocolate

Martin Lines, marketing director of Nestlé Professional takes a look at the growth of hot chocolate.

"The hot chocolate category is continuing to increase in value and is currently worth £18.1M, with latest figures showing a 28.3 per cent YOY growth in the past year alone . And as a hot beverage in demand, it is important for cafés to offer the right, quality hot chocolate offering.

Particularly during the colder months when an indulgent hot chocolate is often the drink of choice, it is important café owners maximise on sales. However, as recent research has shown, only 10 per cent of caterers buying hot beverages in cash and carrys have actively tried to increase their sales . With this in mind, Nestlé Professional is offering café owners a helping hand to boost hot chocolate profits with a range of FREE eye catching Aero Bubbly Hot Chocolate POS. Such promotional materials such as table tent cards, stickers and posters are a highly effective way of promoting a product to customers and prompting those all important additional impulse purchases.

In fact, research has shown that for 70 per cent of end users introducing POS and price offers, benefited from increase sales, such as Christine Murray of the Wem Treacle Mine in Shropshire.

When Christine introduced the Aero Bubbly Hot Chocolate Shopping Spree promotion to the café last year, she had no idea just how high her profits would bubble or that she herself would be one of the lucky winners:

"We're an old fashioned sweet shop and café in Shropshire", explains owner, Christine. "Because we are located on the hiking route between Lands End to John O-Groats in Scotland, we have a lot of walkers and cyclists stopping by to warm up with a hot beverage on their journey, as well as a regular clientele.

We're always looking for ways of improving the quality of our hot beverage offering and increasing profits in the café. So when we saw the Aero Bubbly Hot Chocolate Shopping Spree promotion advertised at the wholesalers, we thought it would be a great opportunity to offer something extra to our customers. So we purchased some product and requested a POS kit direct from Nestlé FoodServices to advertise Aero to our customers.

We were serving another leading brand at the time and sales of hot chocolate were consistent but low. We decided to offer the Aero Instant variety alongside the existing brand to give our customers the choice.

We couldn't believe the results - after running the Shopping Spree promotion our hot chocolate sales had doubled! The POS we displayed in the café helped to raise awareness of the promotion to the point where everybody who had a hot chocolate entered the prize draw. Our sales increased dramatically and given the choice of the two brands, Aero came out on top every time. In fact, many of our customers have now switched permanently to the brand, after buying a cup and entering the competition.

We were delighted when we discovered that three of our regular customers had each won £10 shopping vouchers through the promotion - they even came in to the café to thank us and have another mug. The real bonus came, however, when I got the call to say that I had won £50 shopping vouchers myself. I couldn't believe my luck - I had already doubled my hot chocolate sales and then was rewarded with the luxury of a shopping trip!

As a result of the Shopping Spree promotion, we have decided to continue offering the product at the Wem Treacle Mine. It's clearly superior in terms of quality, presentation and consistency and hot chocolate has never been so popular before in the café. What's more - it has been the most successful promotion we've even run!"

Source: Nestlé Professional

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