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Lavazza launches subscription scheme targeting 22% of Brits who are buying more coffee

Lavazza subscription UK

MILAN – With only one in five[1] UK consumers planning to continue to work from home post-COVID-19, rather than heading into the office, Lavazza’s strategic launch of Lavazza Blue, an office-focused coffee subscription service, will secure the brands position in the office “coffee hour” space as businesses reopen from early next year, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Lucy Ambler, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Lavazza has shown an adaptive response to the changing work environment, with GlobalData’s survey showing that 22%[2] of Brits are buying more coffee than before the pandemic.

Lavazza’s move to meet this demand – both at home and now in offices – is enabling them to directly compete with and benefit from the struggling food and beverage sector.”

Reduced footfall is likely to continue for the coffee and tea-shop sector, which will have shrunk by 18%[3] to land at £5.4bn by the end of 2021, as three-quarters[4] of people still feel concerned about visiting stores. This is reinforced as 67% of consumers have noted they will purchase ‘on the go’ food and drinks less often than before the pandemic, reflecting a dim outlook for cafes during that all important lunch hour. That said, Lavazza’s move to focus on offices is a solid response that is unlikely to be significantly affected by further complications related to the pandemic.

As in-house coffee shops such as Pret a Manger have developed subscription services, Lavazza’s in-office approach may directly entice employers seeking to improve office culture amongst the return to offices, through a premium ‘treat’ for their employees. Competitive pricing, through the 20% discount for subscriptions compared to ‘one-off’ purchasing, will also increase interest. However, one aspect is missing from the Lavazza Blue range which may impact its longer-term success.

Ambler adds: “Green initiatives and sustainable practices have remained a key consumer concern this year, and are likely to pick up steam once again in 2021 as anxieties around health and wellbeing settle. In fact, 43%[5] of people note recyclable or reusable packaging as being more important to them now as a result of the pandemic than before. This could prove a barrier for long-term popularity, as Lavazza Blue – which uses black plastic packaging – may be less desirable than the more environmentally-conscious alternatives available by key competitors such as Nespresso.

“While this is a receptive launch from Lavazza for changing consumer lifestyles, there is clear room to grow into more environmentally-conscious options – although this may be an area of development soon to come.”

[1] GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Consumer Survey Results – Week 10 (published November 10th) – UK
[2] Combined responses: ‘I have never bought this, but have started buying this now’, ‘I am buying slightly more than before’, I am buying significantly more than before’, or ‘I am stockpiling i.e. buying this in bulk or multiple times’
[3] GlobalData’s COVID-19 Impact Market Model – Foodservice – UK
[4] Combined responses: ‘extremely concerned’, ‘quite concerned’ and ‘slightly concerned’
[5] Combined responses: ‘it is now my top priority’; or ‘slightly’ or ‘significantly’ more important than before [the pandemic]