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When coffee shops should promote seasonal drinks based on the data

We analyzed data on when hot and cold drinks switch positions as most popular at local coffee shops. Here's what we learned and when shops should consider promoting seasonal drinks.

Seasonal drinks present a great marketing opportunity for coffee shops looking to keep things fresh and interesting for their customer base and differentiation from the crowd. In addition to offering shop owners higher margins and an opportunity to differentiate your shop, the can be great eye candy on social media and present as well.

So when should you start marketing that indie-coffee spin on the Pumpkin Spice Latte? According to our data across hundreds of thousands of orders spanning all 50 states... probably earlier than you think. 

What the data shows

We looked at the data across hundreds of thousands on both in-person orders (via the joe POS) and mobile orders. Below, we charted the total percent of sales between hot and cold drinks. You see a clear seasonal pattern that repeats every year. Based on several years worth of data, hot drinks reclaim their position as the most ordered drink type on September 13th - about a week before the official start of fall. Then, those tasty hot beverages make up about 70% of all drink orders by November before steadily declining from March before bottoming out to just 30% of drink orders by mid July.  

Screen Shot 2022-09-08 at 11.02.08 AM

What does that mean for your coffee shop? 

As temperatures start to cool down, the last week or two of summer are the perfect time to begin getting the word out about your seasonal drinks. It might feel odd promoting a piping-hot beverage when customers are still wearing flip flops and tank tops, but when it comes to marketing the name of the game is repetition. By getting an early start with some creative promotions, you can get your customers hooked on their new fall favorite just as their new fall routines and habits take shape. 

Here are a few tried and true tactics for getting the word out:

  1. Run a joe-sponsored promotion offering a discount on a seasonal drink

  2. Provide free samples to customers 

  3. Offer a Coffee Flight featuring your new seasonal favorites. 


Have something that working well at your coffee shop worth sharing? Drop us a line on Instagram.



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