Trends and Innovations

Oct 07

What’s Next for Restaurants and Other Food Businesses?

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Ash Bennett

Uncertainty and competition have been always here for restaurants, cafes, bakeries and other food service outlets. But this time it’s different because of the pandemic and the rapid changes in how people consume and run businesses.

What’s next for restaurants and other food businesses

Takeaway service will likely to expand and stay. This means more packaging, faster service and a focus on costs and convenience. This also means less space for dining in and most likely a lot less space for the entire business (seats and tables take a lot of space). As a result, there could be cost savings here because of lower rent.

It then becomes easier and cheaper to set up a new food business. Lower barriers of entry means more intense competition. With more competition comes lower margins for everyone because there’s a tendency to compete for lower costs. Aside from the lower barriers of entry and more intense competition, another challenge is about differentiation. Back then what differentiates restaurants and cafes are the setting and the dining experience. Now, everything looks almost the same with nothing to make the food service outlet stand out.

How to survive and thrive in that harsh environment? It’s still possible because there are always winners (and often winners take it all). Because of the intense competition and lower profits, many businesses will come and go. The survivors will get by and somehow a few will get lucky or make the right decision at the right time. Those survivors were able to get by partly because of tight cost control and customer obsession. It’s also partly a result of rapid response to trends and changes (such as more people staying far from commercial areas because of the work-from-home).

The key then is to focus on every little opportunity to gain an advantage. This is also about having a commitment to continuous improvement. This is much easier said than done because it’s already fierce out there. Most business owners are already doing everything they can to survive these uncertain times.

Good thing is that many businesses are still in line with sustainability (e.g. eco-friendly packaging, biodegradable cleaning solutions). This is great not just for the environment but also for business profitability. Keep in mind though that this is just one small piece of the puzzle. Business owners have to deal with dozens of other challenges and variables. But with a commitment to sustainability, there’s always a clear direction for responsible business owners.

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Mar 05

How Can Your Bakery Save Money and Nature at the Same Time?

Posted on March 5, 2020 by Ash Bennett

Yes you can have both. It’s possible to go green while making your bakery more profitable. In fact, going green is a practical business decision.

First, going green means minimising waste. If you reduce waste in your business, the natural result is you’ll also save on production costs. For example, it’s now possible to use a single cardboard box to bake, decorate, portion, freeze, distribute and serve a cake. This will save you money on production, packaging and labour. Also, you won’t need to wash up your baking tins and pans (you save water and soap too).

It’s a win-win solution both for you and the environment (you can visit this page if you want to learn more about this money-saving bakery packaging). In addition, your operations become more organised because most of the processes happen on one surface where you don’t need to transfer the cake from one container to another. There will be fewer mistakes which again means more money saved.

Will it matter to customers?

Customers now prefer environment-friendly businesses. Knowledge and awareness made that possible and customers now want to help even in everyday little ways.

Whether or not your customers care about your business going green, they will still benefit because you can pass on the savings to them or you can better focus on delivering excellent customer service (remember that you will save time and labour because you could bake and serve on the same box). This is a win-win for everyone and this could also help your business become more profitable and sustainable in the long run.

It’s also getting more competitive out there where new bakeries and products come out all the time. To thrive and stay ahead, it’s crucial to make use of all the advantages you can get. From the quality of your cakes, the way you talk with your customers, the look and smell of your bakery and storefront and also all the details and processes in the background including how you save time and money on baking, packaging and serving the cakes. All these advantages combine and accumulate to give you a competitive edge (while helping the environment at the same time).

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Aug 29

Can Rebranding Boost your Coffee Sales?

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Ash Bennett

When customers come into your coffee shop, are they underwhelmed with your cup offering? Let’s face it, a good cup of coffee transcends the vessel you serve it in; if you serve it in cool packaging, however, your customers will appreciate the effort. As a cafe or coffee shop owner, you know that customers can be picky about their coffee choice. Savvy consumers are concerned about Fair Trade beans and sustainable products as well as a good blend and organically grown beans. Is it possible that they are just as concerned with the cup the coffee comes in? Have you ever heard of a little coffee company named Starbucks and their infamous holiday red cups? Back in 2016, Starbucks unveiled a green coffee shop that had their customers seeing red.

The Starbucks cup debacle proves that customers are indeed aware of packaging changes. The green cup, symbolizing unity, had a polarizing effect on consumers. Thousands took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. However, not all customers hated it. Just as many tweeted their support. This wasn’t Starbucks’ first time at the holiday rodeo. In 2015, the company drew the ire of Christians when holiday imagery was removed from the classic red cups. Instead of reindeer, Christmas trees, and Santa, the cup was simply red. The resulting brouhaha garnered a lot of media attention on the coffee powerhouse.

This is not to say that you should change everything just because Starbucks changed their cups. It simply means evaluate the effect your branding has on your customers, and subsequently, on your sales. Australian coffee shop Coffee Supreme changed the color of their cups based on size. They also implemented multiple images on their cups.The red, white, or black cups are said to make it easier for baristas to identify the small, medium, or large sizes.

Can a shift in branding impact your sales? According to Forbes magazine, the tiniest branding shift could potentially mean billions. In an article on branding, Forbes contributor Jerry McLaughlin highlights the history of Morton Salt Company. Simply by adding the word “iodized” to its packaging, Morton went from a small company to a billion-dollar enterprise. At the time, there was a health scare in the U.S., when doctors revealed that diets low in iodine could contribute to goiters. Morton added iodine to its salt products and changed the packaging to reflect health benefits; the branding shift significantly increased the company’s sales.

Carefully evaluate how minor changes in your packaging can impact your brand. Look at areas where you can refresh the look of your packaging design. Lid color changes can set your cups apart from the competition. Wrappers, cups, or lids that reflect specific holidays or events could also be unique ways to create buzz around your brand. Essentially, your brand should tell customers what you do, how you do it, and for whom you do it. Using creative packaging to tell your story is not only smart, it’s necessary


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Jun 03

HuskeeCup, Bringing waste back to life

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Ash Bennett

Meet HuskeeCup. A coffee cup as sophisticated as it is sustainable.

HuskeeCup are made from coffee husks as a raw material. Husk is an organic waste product from the milling stage of coffee production. By purchasing HuskeeCup, you are helping to recycle hundreds of tonnes of waste material from the production of coffee. We’ve developed a single lid and saucer that work with every cup size!

The Benefits:

  • Keeps your coffee hotter for longer

HuskeeCup’s unique thermal properties will keep your coffee hotter for longer. So whether you are at home, on the go, or dining in at a café, you can expect an improved coffee experience.


  • Comfortable to hold

HuskeeCup has a slim and grip-able form. And it’s fins are not only an iconic design feature – they also protect your hands from the heat of your drink. You’re going to love the way that it feels to hold HuskeeCup (whether with one hand or both)!

  • Durable and dishwasher friendly

HuskeeCup is designed to last for years (even in a cafe environment). It’s durable and it doesn’t chip or crack easily. We have tested it in even the most rigorous café environments, running it through the dishwasher dozens of times a day.

  • Re-purposes waste material (coffee husk)

HuskeeCup features coffee husk as a raw material. Coffee husk is an organic waste material that’s produced at the milling stage of coffee production. By purchasing HuskeeCup, you are helping to recycle hundreds of tonnes of waste material from the production of coffee.

  • Universal Lid & Saucer

We’ve developed a single lid and saucer that work with every cup size! Our lid and saucer are both made from the same unique husk material as HuskeeCup. Huskee’s Universal Saucer stacks neatly and the Universal Lid has been designed to give you a cafe drinking experience on the go!


  • Easy to Clean

Huskee’s Universal Lid has been designed with cleanliness in mind. It’s streamlined design means there’s nowhere for coffee to hide once you’ve given it a wash! Plus, HuskeeCup’s base features drainage vents that ensure water runs straight off the cup after cleaning. No more nasty liquid pools!

  • Non-toxic (BPA free)

HuskeeCup is produced using materials which have all been tested as food safe. We work closely with our husk suppliers to ensure that no hazardous materials or chemicals are used during the process to obtain the husks. HuskeeCup is BPA free, and approved food safe.

  • Stackable

HuskeeCup stacks securely. This makes it easy and efficient to store and means less breakage!


  • Aesthetically Pleasing

Beyond function, HuskeeCup is recognized globally as an aesthetically pleasing, beautifully designed vessel. HuskeeCup’s Universal Lid & Saucer are the perfect complement to it’s elegant and sophisticated aesthetic.

Click Here Order Your HuskeeCup Online 


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Dec 05

Why is Starbucks So Successful on Social Media? (It’s Definitely Not Their Coffee)

Posted on November 1, 2019 by Ash Bennett

Over the years, Starbucks has grown into a coffee-making giant. But the quality of their coffee still isn’t as widely accepted as they would like, and in Australia they still can’t compete with smaller coffeehouses that focus on service and quality drinks.

It’s been shown time and time again that quality usually outperforms consistency. So why is Starbucks doing so well?

It’s not always what’s in the package. It’s the package and how it’s presented, as well as the company’s promotion strategy.

What You Can Learn from the Unicorn Frappuccino® Blended Crème

If you’ve been online, you’ve probably heard about this magical unicorn drink that had swept across social media sites. But what was it that made it so magical?

Few customers seemed to truly enjoy the drink. Some went so far as to say it tasted awful. But what made this drink a success wasn’t the flavor or how amazing it tasted–it was the way it looked.

The bright-pink frozen drink with contrasting blue swirls was topped off with whipped cream and, yes, pink and blue sparkles. It looked amazing, especially when you threw a few filters on it before uploading it to Instagram.

Appearance can have a significant effect on how buyers make their decisions. While it’s not a great long-term strategy, it’s safe to say Starbucks got their money’s worth. This is the perfect example of how changing up the appearance of a product can boost sales.

 Create a Sense of Urgency with Limited-Time Offers  

While the importance of presentation to a campaign was a big takeaway for the company, the sense of urgency they created by making it available only for a limited time helped boost short-term sales.

Creating a sense of urgency helps with holiday and special event sales. The repeated mention that a product is only available for a short period encourages action. Buyers often put off getting a certain product until they just forget about it. By creating a sense of urgency, you keep it on their mind.

Know Your Audience

If anyone else had tried to put out a product like this, it might not have gone over so well. But any good marketing team does research on their audience, gets to know their buyers, and pays attention to social media trends. Luckily for Starbucks, this product was a hit, especially for their younger customers.

Let Social Media Do the Work

Starbucks didn’t have to do much advertising. Their customers did most of the advertising and social sharing for them.

Once the unicorn drink was out, pictures were plastered all over social media–Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. With colors that vivid, it was a perfect match for the photo-sharing crowd on social media, particularly Instagram.

Having a connection with your audience on social media has its perks. Creating a product that gets attention like this might not be cost-effective in the long run, but it’s perfect for creating hype around things like new product releases, limited-time events, and holidays. Release a product they love, and you’ll get additional traffic just from social media and word-of-mouth referrals.

While unicorns may not be part of an everyday marketing strategy, you can take notes on how powerful social media, presentation and a sense of urgency can be when planning product promotions.

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