by Chris Gamm

Smiths News says retailers can earn thousands of pounds of profit a year from its new Jack’s Beans on-the-go coffee solution, which is being rolled out to hundreds of stores in 2014.

The news wholesaler has developed its own premium coffee blend, recruited ex-Starbucks consumer products director Ray Conway as the brand’s general manager and developed the “smallest bean to cup machine on the market”.

At 50cm wide, the coffee terminal, which is leased to retailers on a three-year contract, is half the size of a Costa Express machine and is designed to slot into an existing space in store.

“Coffee is a category in sustainable growth, delivering good margins and creating new profit streams for our customers,” said Smiths News managing director Jon Bunting.

We’re looking to work with any store with decent footfall and there is demand to sell at least 10 cups a day

“We’ve spent nine months testing the proposition on consumers. It’s been designed with independent retailers in mind. Different formats were trialed in 22 stores which have sold between 10 and 20 cups a day.

“We’re looking to work with any store with decent footfall and there is demand to sell at least 10 cups a day.”

The wholesaler has recruited a team of installers to work alongside the machine’s manufacturer to set retailers up and train staff. Coffee will be distributed in 0.5kg bags in tote boxes.

Retailers will make a minimum 15% margin on every cup sold, but this grows based on sales volumes. “Retailers will earn at least 30p per cup sold at the £2 recommended price,” said Mr Bunting.

Marketing support will include PoS material, swing signs, in-store sampling campaigns and a ‘buy nine, get the 10th free’ loyalty card.

Retailer Dave Lewis from Spar Crescent Store, Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, has been trialing the unit since last August. “We’re selling between 60 and 80 cups of coffee a week.

“We’ve had one or two comments that it’s the best coffee they’ve ever had.”

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