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How to Choose the Products Your Customers Crave
What does “healthy” really mean?
Unfortunately, “healthy” can mean a variety of things–it’s in a state of constant flux morphing with the latest diet fad, current medical research and individual perspective. So what’s a conscientious shop owner to do? Is it necessary to accommodate every need or perspective? Is that even feasible or cost effective?
We have a few tips and ideas to help you identify and provide the products your customers require to meet their dietary needs as well as a Customer Service team standing by to personally help you find the “healthy” products your customers are looking for! Contact a BPS Customer Service Barista.
Understand Your Customers & Their Health Goals:
In terms of the bottom line, it’s how your customers define “healthy,” that really matters most. Identifying their preferences and priorities will help you provide the types of products that will keep them coming back for more. So, it’s important to notice what they are asking for, ordering or curious about. For instance, most customers trying to stick to a diet or avoid allergens will know what they do or do not want to consume. You’ll probably notice questions about ingredients or nutritional labels. On the other hand, customers trying to avoid sugar or fat may ask more questions about calories. To truly understand your customers, we recommend a little investigative research:
1. Work with your staff to suss out your customers’ specific nutritional needs/goals:
Ask more clarifying questions: Is there an ingredient you need to avoid? Are you trying to stick to a particular diet?
Record customers requests: How many requests were made for gluten-free baked goods last week?
Analyze past sales: How many drinks were made with alternative milk? Which alternative milks?
Poll customers: Ask customers about their preferences with dual tip jars or take a poll on social media.
2. Familiarize yourself with current health trends/priorities (here’s just a few):
Low/No Sugar: Customers managing diabetes, moms limiting their kids' sugar consumption or individuals trying to limit calorie intake may be looking for products with less refined sugar:
No Sugar Added: These products only contain natural sugars from their ingredients like fructose from fruit.
Natural Sweeteners: These naturally sweet ingredients like honey, agave, or maple syrup do not contain cane sugar.
Sugar Alternatives: Stevia & Monk Fruit (more natural), Splenda & Aspartame (more artificial), browse BPS sugar-free syrups
Low Fat: Customers trying to limit calorie intake may be looking for low fat ingredients like 2%/skim milk, plant-based milk or syrups instead of sauces.
Avoiding Allergens: Customers with food allergies/sensitivities or customers trying to comply with a restrictive diet may be looking for vegan (no animal bi-products like honey or the milk-derivative calcium caseinate), gluten-free (wheat), grain-free, dairy-free or nut-free products.
Clean Label: Products that have a short ingredient deck with simple, natural ingredients
Organic: Products produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents
Non GMO: Products made with out genetically modified materials or ingredients
No Artificial Ingredients: Products that do not contain preservatives, dyes, sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, thickeners like carrageenan or any other man-made chemical ingredients
Paleo: This diet advocates returning to a paleolithic hunter/gatherer diet. Adherents consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and meat while avoiding dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed foods, salt, alcohol or coffee.
Keto (Ketogenic): By consuming more fat than carbohydrates, this diet transitions the body from burning glucose to burning ketones produced in the liver (the metabolic state of ketosis). It was originally developed in the 1920's to help children manage epilepsy but it is also used today to stabilize blood sugar or manage anxiety. Essentially, it is a more restrictive form of the Paleo diet that permits low or no carbohydrate intake.
Whole 30: Designed to restart the body’s metabolism, this regime requires participants to abstain from certain foods (sugar/sugar substitutes, grains, legumes, dairy or processed foods) in favor of simple whole ingredients for 30 days.
AIP (Auto-Immune Protocol): Probably the most restrictive diet, this protocol requires avoiding foods that cause inflammation in the body: grains (rice/wheat/corn), dairy, eggs, nightshade plants (peppers, tomatoes, egg plants, potatoes), seeds/nuts, legumes, shellfish, certain oils, sugar, certain spices and most processed foods.
Choosing Products Based on Your Customers’ Preferences
Now that you’ve gathered some data, it’s time to weigh your options. With a clearer picture of your customer base’s purchasing habits and preferences, identify the most dominant trends and preferences. It probably won’t be feasible to provide for every fad or need, so focus your efforts. For example it may not be cost effective to stock AIP snacks if you’ve never had a request, however if you know you have several vegan regulars, it makes sense to look for vegan baked goods. Also don’t feel obligated to overhaul your menu–start small. Try adding a few new options and see how it goes.
Once you know what “healthy” preferences/needs you want to accommodate, it’s time to research products. Though Google offers a veritable wealth of information, it can sometimes be overwhelming and time-consuming to sift through search results. Instead, find all of the product information you need conveniently hosted on our website. Find nutritional information, sell sheets, brochures and more in our Training Materials Section which can be accessed from our homepage, brand pages or product pages. Also don’t forget, if you need assistance, our Customer Service Baristas would love to talk through our catalog with you. With experience behind the bar, and the inside scoop from product manufacturers, they are equipped to help you find the right solution for your shop.
Find our Training Materials From The BPS Homepage
Scroll through the Training Materials for each brand to find sell sheets, brochures, nutritional information & videos.
Also, access BPS Training Materials from brand or product pages on our website.
Quickly find the nutritional information you need for most BPS products.
Educate Customers About Your Menu (Market Your “Healthy” Options)
Once you’ve selected new products and adjusted your menu don’t forget to advertise! Let everyone know that you now offer a new keto-compliant smoothie, that all of your syrups are organic or that your mocha is “Dairy-Free.” When you make changes to accommodate your customers needs, it’s important to inform them:
Create New Signage: Add vegan or gluten free icons to your sign board, label ingredient rack/containers and pull out the A-frame sign board to announce your new menu options.
Post Online: Create social media announcements, update your website, draft a blog post or create a new post on your Google My Business Listing (learn more about leveraging this free listing).
Train Staff: Make sure everyone behind the bar knows about your new menu additions and products so that they can verbally explain them and offer them to customers.
Since you are specifically catering to your customers needs, make sure they have the opportunity to appreciate your efforts. Showing that you are willing to respond to their requests engenders customer loyalty and in most cases leads to more sales.
"Items always arrive quickly & incredibly well packed!"
- M. S. Westwood, MA July 12, 2019
"I love BPS! Great and easy to work with for all me coffee shop needs. I loved the sample bag I received."
- B. C. Lafayette, CO May 13, 2019
"So glad I came across Baristapro shop, they have great prices, fast delivery, and all the items I needed."
- J. J. Elberton, GA April 17, 2019
"We work with Tia, Lucy, and Kristen regularly at the Loveland shop. They always provide great customer service and expertise. Tia especially went above and beyond recently when we were handling our first big event, giving good advice on what product to use. We are completely satisfied with the crew in Loveland. They're great!"
- B. L. April 1, 2019
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