Tiger Coffee CEO George Miller talks to the C&I Industry Leaders Forum about how the business has been working with its convenience customers to stay ahead of the changing habits of the coffee consumer.
C&I: Highlight one achievement at Tiger Coffee that you’re particularly proud of over the past 12 months.
Miller: I noticed that the theme of the C&I 2021 Expo is Reconnect-Renew-Rebuild. Tiger Coffee has been doing just that for the previous 12 months.
Without doubt, the effort and focus by our Tiger Coffee technicians, with the support of our strategic partners Eversys and Iovent to develop and then install a bespoke contactless payment system during a major rollout of Cameo self-serve coffee machines makes me very proud.
Thanks to algorithms, software integration and a dedication towards a market-based solution to convenience and great coffee, the contactless self-serve installations will be a game changer for the whole industry.
C&I: What do you enjoy most about convenience and what is one challenge you’d like to see addressed in the industry?
Miller: Convenience is an innovation sector. Within a much larger industry, petrol and convenience (P&C) retailers continue to challenge and implement ideas well ahead of their time to ensure they stay relevant to an ever-changing consumer sentiment.
For example, COVID-19 changed the habits of the coffee consumer from café and restaurant-style consumption to on-the-go and home consumption of coffee. Tiger Coffee was able to enjoy the challenge of installing the latest technology into convenience, which is very satisfying.
The wider P&C segment needs to address the perception that good consistent coffee is only served in a café. To address this industry challenge, an investment in the newest technology and maintenance is required, which is where Tiger Coffee can assist.
C&I: What is the primary focus for Tiger Coffee in 2021?
Miller: With full automation of coffee service being driven by quality consistent coffee, installing equipment including the facility to offer multiple milk solutions, we are focused on the new range of Eversys Enigma Series coffee machines.
Not only is there a Classic range but also what is known as a Super Traditional range, including a high performance Shot Master Pro offering. Some unique designs with various options that will further innovate the products, services and merchandising around the convenience offer.
Matching these new ranges of Eversys Enigma coffee machines with our Tiger Coffee patented design 30 litre milk bladder fridges is a primary focus for 2021.
C&I: How do you envision the next six months for convenience retail?
Miller: No one can predict what may or may not happen during the next six months with COVID-19 taking all of us on a ride into the unknown, but what I can say is the owners and operators of a convenience offering need to invest in the future where the savvy consumer is demanding good quality coffee, or they will go elsewhere for that coffee fix.
In other words, there will be slight ups and downs by category, but any increased foot fall will only be boosted by a higher quality of offer in-store.
C&I: Is there anything else happening with Tiger Coffee that you’d like to highlight?
Miller: With the convenience sector seeing some significant in-store upgrades while adding to their value product range, consumers are now responding with loyalty when the offer is consistent with the right value/price composition.
Now, not tomorrow would be the right time for the P&C retail audience to control their own destiny and reach out to Tiger Coffee to discuss how to be a part of this improvement in coffee service.
The result of improved coffee in-store is repeat business, which is what every retailer is looking for.