It should come as no surprise to hear that coffee and tea shops across the UK have taken a hit this year. People, understandably, are staying home more often, both due to lockdown restrictions as well as individual cautionary behaviour, which is leading many to avoid typically crowded locations where cafes are often situated. Over the past eight months then, coffee manufacturers have had to get creative if they want to reach consumers. One strong contender is Lavazza’s personal ‘A Modo Mio’ coffee subscription service, which has benefited from increased home consumption occasions. Now, with the news of a potential vaccine which may hail the return of ‘normalcy’ on the horizon, Lavazza has launched its Lavazza Blue subscription aimed towards offices, meeting changing consumer circumstances.

With 4 in 5* of UK consumers reporting that they will return to the on-site working, rather than working from home, rather than heading into the office, upon the arrival of ‘the new normal’, Lavazza has strategically launched its new office-focussed coffee subscription ahead of the rush as business reopen from early next year. The company has shown an adaptive response to the changing work environment, with GlobalData’s survey showing that *222% 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 *318% to land at £5.4bn by the end of 2021, as *4three-quarters 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.

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, *543% 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.

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