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High Street Coffee - How Independents Are Levelling Up

High Street Coffee - How Independents Are Levelling Up

A recent story about caffeine content revealed surprising differences amongst leading takeaway operators. But in other ways, smaller coffee shops are finding ways to level the high street playing field - in a market that has yet to run out of steam.

 We drink an awful lot of coffee in…the UK

Coffee has been one of the fastest-growing drinks for UK consumers over the past decade. We drink around 100 million cups of coffee each day, a rise of 25 million in barely a decade (tea is still some way ahead at 165 million cups per day). Most of it is still instant, and consumed at home, but there are plenty of other outlets that have helped fuel the growth.

Street competition is high

You cannot walk down a town centre in Britain without a coffee shop providing a pleasant diversion. Top-flight chains like Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero, Pret and McDonalds have set the bar high but independents are thriving too. In many small towns, an independent coffee shop is still a hub for the community, an environment where school mums, older couples, entrepreneurs and lunch workers might break their day to congregate and chat.

Independents don’t have the buying power of the chains so competing on price alone is tricky. They can make up for that with great service, ever-changing new blends, quality food accompaniment and more comfortable surroundings.

David v Goliath: who rules the roast?

The most successful coffee shops can punch above their weight when it comes to local marketing. All know the value of repeat custom and word-of-mouth recommendation. They will usually have some kind of loyalty scheme, publicised in-store and on social media. For those who appreciate the power of promotion, subtle advertising is the order of the day. They can take their name beyond their premises by sending customers out with printed coffee cups, cake boxes and sandwich bags that feature their logo. It means that even after their customers leave with a carry-out coffee in hand, the business name will continue to be visible to other townsfolk going about their normal day.

Grounds for optimism

We are often asked to quote for custom-printed coffee cups, and enquirers are often pleasantly surprised by how economical it can be. It costs so little to add a logo or brand name to a paper cup that it seems strange for any takeaway provider not to do so. With our leaning towards recyclable and compostable options, they’re also a great way for any retailer to show they really do care about their environment, local or otherwise. We supply single wall, double wall, triple wall, rippled and wavy coffee cups in any colour, all suitable for overprinting.

Print options on personalised takeaway coffee cups

There are many different methods of printing onto material. All have the same goal in mind, which is to personalise a product, or to add information for the individual using a product.  Personalisation, branding, printing may come in many different forms, onto paper-based substrates including paper, card, tracing paper, cardboard & other paper lined products, e.g. takeaway coffee cups.

The two most common methods of printing onto coffee cups are: Flexographic (commonly referred to as Flexo) printing; and Lithographic (Litho) printing,

Flexo has limitations in that the higher cost of set up makes it more suitable only for larger print runs. Also, the way in which the ink is transferred - using a shaped rubber plate or cylinder (with the image to be printed as an actual raised image on the rubber plate, that carries the ink to the surface of the material being printed) -  one of the downsides of Flexo is that the ink can ‘spread’ slightly. This means that for very fine detail or pictures you won’t end up with the sharpness of image compared to litho printing.

Litho printing on the other hand is a method of printing based upon the principle that oil & water don’t mix. It allows for high quality, medium-to-long production runs, and has a lower set up cost than flexographic printing, although on longer production runs the cost per unit will usually be higher than the cost per unit for Flexo.

Ask us to quote for your takeaway packaging

If you run a catering or hospitality company, perhaps you’ve thought about creating a bespoke look for your foodservice supplies. If so please give us a call on 01923 891 616. We can advise you on the best options for your business, and take care of the detail from commencement to completion.

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