Wednesday 31 October 2012

Debenhams: calling a coffee a coffee….

Debenhams launches plain English coffee menu which describes coffee in simple terms has been created in direct response to customer feedback that revealed over 70% of coffee drinkers have experienced ‘coffee confusion’ in cafes, bars and restaurants. No longer will coffee-lovers be in a muddle over mocha, caught out by cappuccino or embarrassed about espresso thanks to a plain English coffee menu launched by Debenhams on 29 October 2012.

The new Debenhams coffee menu:
Translating Fancy name (usually seen in high street coffee shops) into Plain English version (as seen on the new Debenhams menu)

Black coffee  = Simple coffee – with or without milk

Caffe latte      = Really really milky coffee

Cappuccino   = Frothy coffee

Caffe mocha  = Chocolate flavoured coffee

Espresso shot = A shot of strong coffee

Chrissie Maher, Founder Director of Plain English Campaign also welcomes the new menu: “Whether it is coffee, tea or hot chocolate, it needs to be in plain English so customers can make an informed choice. If they can read the menu clearly, they are more likely to try something new – and who knows – they may come back for more.”

The current status quo
Over 100,000 coffees are sold each week in more than 160 Debenhams cafes and restaurants across the UK and Ireland, selling double the amount of tea. Coffee now represents 67% of sales compared to tea which is only 33%. Of the three major hot beverage categories (coffee, tea and hot chocolate), coffee is the only one to have seen volume growth over the past three years. This suggests that it has stolen share from both hot chocolate and tea.

At risk of sounding pretentious (pretentious? Moi?) it remains to be seen whether confusing mystique is a key driver in out-of-home coffee consumption……

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