LONDON, United Kingdom — Healthy food chain Pret A Manager has launched a range of retail coffee products in a bid to create a new revenue stream amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The first-ever retail offering from the ubiquitous brand — three types of organic coffee including the firm’s classic blend ground coffee, Peru single origin and espresso beans — will be available to buy via Amazon from May 18th.
“This marks the first time that our customers can make their favourite Pret coffee at home,” commented Pret’s UK managing director Clare Clough.
“We know how much customers are missing [our coffee]from their daily lives at the moment, so we’re delighted to be launching our first retail range with Amazon,” she added.
Having been forced to close its stores in the UK following the country’s lockdown on 23rd March, Pret has been gradually reopening select venues on a strictly takeaway/delivery basis. A recent announcement from CEO Pano Christou revealed a further 71 of its shops will join that growing list from Monday 11th May — in line with government advice and new safety and social distancing measures. However, like swathes of businesses across the globe the company has taken a huge hit when it comes to in-store sales, so targeting the in-home consumer could go some way to clawing that profit back.
The in-home coffee segment, meanwhile, has experienced a surge in sales as consumers unable able to visit their usual coffee shops opt for alternative solutions. Nestle revealed that Nespresso boutiques’ e-commerce sales have grown by 29.4 percent, exceeding 10 percent of total group sales for the first time, while subscription sites such as Pact and Grind have also reported a surge in interest. And, as consumers continue to adjust their daily habits to suit the in-home environment, the worry is that this new behaviour will stick post COVID-19. For businesses like Pret A Manager, tapping into this new behaviour is, therefore, key.
Like Pret, Leon is also taking a more blended approach. It recently expanded its home delivery service ‘Feed Britain’ to cover a wider delivery radius and offer a larger menu.
Alongside family meals, seasonal veg boxes and Leon products, the service now includes meat and cheese selection boxes. All the profits are currently being donated to FeedNHS — an initiative which aims to send those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, one healthy meal per day. In the long term, however, the scheme could become part of a more omnichannel approach for the healthy fast-food chain.
With Nielsen estimating that 600k households tried online grocery shopping for the first time in the UK during March and new data released by ACI Worldwide showing that most retail categories saw a 74 percent rise in March compared to 2019 for e-commerce, it’s no surprise brands are betting on a future where new behaviours outlast the crisis.