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St Austell Brewery enjoys early coffee sales success

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

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The Westcountry’s largest family owned brewery is enjoying early success with its own brand of - coffee.

St Austell Brewery is reporting early success with its new coffee brand which it launched in the first quarter of 2014.

Coffee sales have been booming for St Austell’s managed pubs across Cornwall and Devon, with the new line improving coffee and food sales.

Since the introduction of the Brewery’s own-brand Brewer & Bean coffee line in February 2014, to the company’s estate of 22 managed pubs and inns, hot drink sales have increased dramatically with as much as a 99% increase in coffee sales reported so far this year.

Year on year comparisons show an average 46% increase in coffee sales for the month of July, despite experiencing hot summer weather throughout the month, and a 29% increase for the year to date.

Ashley Rudd, St Austell Brewery retail operations manager, said: “The increase in coffee sales for pubs and inns serving the Brewer & Bean brand has been excellent and gives us huge confidence in our strategy.

“We continue to see interesting statistics which show how the pub market is changing, the biggest growth is coming from increased food sales and from accommodation.

“It is clear that customers choosing to visit or stay with us want casual dining with good value tasty food prepared using fresh local ingredients, the increase in coffee sales is also a reflection of this trend.”

The greatest year on year jump in coffee sales has been at the Atlantic Inn on the Isles of Scilly, with 99% higher coffee sales than in 2013, contributing to an 11% increase in overall turnover for the pub and hotel.

The Atlantic was one of first St Austell Brewery pubs to trial the dedicated Brewer & Bean outlet, along with the Great Western in Newquay and the Old Custom House in Padstow.

The three inns are now among the top five best performing establishments for coffee sales, proving that the pub coffee shop model is a successful and profitable approach which the Brewery is planning to invest in further over the next few years.

The Old Custom House opened its Brewer & Bean outlet in July 2014, and across the whole of the month coffee sales were up by a massive 220 % compared to July 2013.

Figures from the Great Western, which opened its Brewer & Bean outlet in April, are also impressive, with a monthly increase of 70% for July and a 60% increase for the year to date, which will no doubt have supported the 17% increase in overall turnover.

St Austell Brewery has worked closely with Cornish Coffee to create Brewer & Bean coffee, using a combination of two Fairtrade beans; Robusta from Uganda and Arabica from Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Salvador.

Linda Prior, manager of the Old Custom House said: “Since the Brewer & Bean coffee shop opened it’s been extremely busy, and we have definitely seen a noticeable increase in coffee sales.

“Being able to enjoy top quality hot drinks and homemade food in the unique atmosphere of a pub coffee shop will help to boost daytime trade for the Old Custom House.”

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