Recent coffee industry research has found that as consumer demand grows, the industry is still facing barriers to going green.
The findings reveal that almost all coffee operators (97%) believe that sustainability credentials are important to their customers and more than half (56%) would pay more for a supplier if it offered a measurable impact on sustainability efforts. When asked about the top priorities for their business, sustainability came second place (48%) only to customer satisfaction (70%).
The findings show the role of suppliers is key in helping individual businesses and the wider industry achieve sustainability targets.
However, the research carried out by BRITA Professional also revealed that hot beverage operators feel there are a number of barriers to reaching their sustainable goals:
Equipment: Almost half think their equipment is letting them down by not standing the test of time (49%)
Cost is an issue: Over half find it difficult to balance profitability and sustainability within their business (64%)
Lack of knowledge: About sustainable practices is making it harder (47%)
It also found the top sustainable initiatives coffee operators would like suppliers to focus on are:
Reducing packaging (79%)
Sourcing sustainable food (52%)
Working on machine protection to help it stand the test of time (51%)
The sustainability issue that’s the most important to operators is the one they are also engaging with the most – reducing single-use plastic. Eight in ten (82%) say they have already introduced methods to reduce single-use plastic in their establishment, for instance three quarters (79%) have removed plastic straws and two thirds (59%) have eliminated single-use plastic cutlery.
Meanwhile, less than half (46%) have introduced incentives to reduce single-use coffee cups and only a third (34%) have installed filtered water dispensers to replace bottled water. Although cutting down on single-use plastic was found to be the biggest sustainable priority, many want to go further.
The research is part of BRITA Professional’s Life is Better Filtered: School of Expertise – Serving Coffee Sustainably toolkit: https://www.brita.co.uk/hospitality