By Technomic, Inc.
The bakery-café segment has yet to fully evolve and emerge as a middle-ground between fast-food and full-service restaurants, likely due in part to heavy competition from overall foodservice industry leaders, such as Tim Hortons. This means relatively low patronage; 29% of consumers say they never visit bakery cafés, mostly due to a lack of convenient locations. Coffee cafés, on the other hand, accounted for more than $7 billion in 2011 sales, about 28% of the total industry sales. They boast remarkably high patronage; 62% of all consumers visit at least weekly, and 12% do so daily.
Both sectors have room to expand their reach, as each caters to differing need states. Consumers look to bakery cafés for top-quality, healthy offerings in an upscale atmosphere ideal for dine-in and special occasions. Coffee-café patronage is generally driven by routine: convenience, quick service and low prices are key for these occasions, which are most often for takeout.
As consumers demand higher-quality, healthier options in a more upscale atmosphere, expect to see these segments continue to blur as they compete more aggressively.
Top 10 themes:
- Coffee-café patronage is very frequent and has increased over the past year.
- The bakery-café segment continues to evolve in the Canadian foodservice market.
- Consumers visit bakery cafés for a wider variety of day parts and occasions than coffee cafés.
- Convenience, quick service and habit drive visits to coffee cafés.
- Drive-thrus are an expectation at coffee-cafés due to the prevalence of takeout occasions.
- Consumers value bakery cafés due to their top-quality, healthy offerings.
- Consumers seek a wider variety of food and beverages at bakery cafés than at coffee-cafés.
- Breakfast sandwiches proliferate on bakery- and coffee-café menus.
- Regardless of daypart or occasion, regular hot coffee remains the beverage of choice at cafés.
- Consumers call for menu items that allow them to adhere to special diets at bakery cafés.