How Coffee Roasters Should Prep for the Holidays - Part 2: Increasing Wholesale Customer Sales

September 21, 2023

Now that you’ve used our inventory tips and tricks from Part 1 to stock up on green coffee and supplies for the holidays, it’s time to start generating sales.

The best place to start? Your existing wholesale customers.

These customers know and love your coffee and are looking to stock up on your products for the holidays. However, don’t assume that wholesale customers will always order more coffee during the holidays. 

The holidays are a chaotic time between daily operations, staffing changes, personal travel plans, and so much more. Sometimes wholesale partners need a few extra reminders or incentives to place larger coffee orders during the holidays. 

In this article, we’ll show you a few creative ways to increase holiday sales from wholesale customers, plus:

  • How exclusive holiday blends and co-branded products can entice wholesale customers to order more
  • Why bulk discounts are the key to increased holiday sales
  • How a little customer appreciation can go a long way (and benefit the bottom line!)

By the end, you’ll be ready to increase your holiday wholesale orders with confidence!

It All Starts With A Simple Reminder 

Coffee shop owners, grocery store managers, retail store managers, and restaurants have so much going on during the holiday season. Between ordering holiday merchandise, scheduling seasonal barista shifts, and launching holiday promos, they may forget to increase their average order volume to accommodate the winter rush. 

Sending a simple, quick reminder to wholesale customers can easily unlock larger order volumes.

You can accomplish this in an email newsletter sent exclusively to wholesale customers, complete with holiday shipping and order deadlines. You can also call or text each customer individually, to personalize the reminder.

But with all the hecticness of the holidays, you may not have time to individually remind each customer. That’s where automatic order reminders come in.

Order reminders are automatically sent to each client, keeping your business top of mind all holiday season long! And, with the power of magic links, they can log in and order from anywhere, anytime. 

👉Discover how you can take advantage of automatic order reminders this holiday season with RoasterTools.

Exclusive Holiday Blends are the Perfect Gift

One way to guarantee increased wholesale volume during the holidays is to partner with wholesale clients on exclusive holiday blends. 

Café owners and retail managers are always on the hunt for the perfect retail item to stock during the holidays. And what business wouldn’t want to sell a holiday blend made just for them? Best of all, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create a signature holiday blend for a handful of wholesale accounts.

As we covered in our eBook, “How to make more money from your Roastery: 6 Strategies for Growth and Profitability,” you can create hundreds of blend combinations with a few green coffees roasted to different levels.

Unless your wholesale partner specifically asks for it, you don’t need to source new green coffees for an exclusive holiday blend. Instead, get creative and play around with a few different blending combinations:

  • Take your most popular blends and adjust the roast levels of each green coffee — you’ve just created an entirely new blend!
  • Try pairing coffees you haven’t before. You and your clients might be pleasantly surprised!
  • Guess what? An exclusive holiday coffee doesn’t have to be a blend! You can always offer wholesale clients a variety of single origin coffees to choose from instead. 

Plus, co-branded holiday coffees provide café and retail partners with more than a revenue driver during the holidays. They also give your clients a renewed sense of pride and ownership over the coffee they serve to guests and stock on the shelf. After all, it’s got their logo on it!

Give Wholesale Clients First Access to New Coffee Products

From creating original blends to sourcing new single origin lots, you’re likely stocking up on new coffee products for the holiday season. (If you read Part 1 of this series, you definitely are!)

Now with these new coffees and blends in stock, it’s time to sell, sell, sell. 

Give your wholesale customers first access to these limited time offerings instead of relying on ecommerce and retail transactions to push holiday blends and exclusive single origin coffees. 

If you want to take it a step further, you can also reserve select products for specific wholesale accounts. For instance, a specialty coffee shop that prides itself on handcrafted pour overs and single origin espresso would love to have exclusive access to an anaerobic process coffee from Costa Rica. On the other hand, a mom and pop retail store would gravitate toward selling retail bags of a limited edition holiday blend. 

Offering first access to these new products not only allows your accounts to plan out their holiday offerings but also shows your ongoing commitment to their business success.

Take Advantage of Bulk Discounts

As a wholesale coffee roaster, you know it’s all about volume. The more volume you sell (at the right price), the better off your business will be.

Bulk discounts are enticing to both parties. Customers can secure high quantities of necessary products at a lower price, while wholesalers ensure that inventory flies off the shelves and revenue is generated.

And, during the holidays, cafés, grocery stores, retail shops, hotels, and more all need mass quantities of coffee to satisfy customer demand.

However, the trick is to be strategic with how you offer these volume discounts. You don’t want one wholesale account to load up on products during the holidays, only to have 20 bags of the holiday blend left over in March.

Instead, offer volume discounts to high-value accounts that have a history of purchasing large volumes from your roastery. These accounts have a proven track record of not only volume but also their ability to pay!

You can offer bulk discounts on:

  • Holiday blends
  • Single origin coffees
  • Coffee gift baskets
  • Partner exclusive or co-branded coffee products
  • Supplementary products (cups, syrups, merchandise)

Right about now, you’re likely wondering what the right bulk discount is for your business. The truth is, bulk discounts will be different for every roastery. It all depends on:

  • What you’re paying for green coffee
  • The costs you need to cover
  • Your desired profit margin percentage
  • How much inventory you have on hand

Two approaches include:

Tiered Pricing — This is when the cost per unit is based on volume ranges. This can look like:

  • 0-100 pounds: $50 per 5-pound bag
  • 100-200 pounds: $47 per 5-pound bag
  • 200+ pounds: $45 per 5-pound bag

Threshold Discounts — Discounts are applied to orders as the volume increases. For example:

  • 0-100 pounds: No discount
  • 100-150 pounds: 3% discount
  • 150-200 pounds: 6% discount
  • 200-250 pounds: 10% discount

Take a moment to run a few calculations and see what bulk discount approach works best for your roastery during the holidays. 

Sell Complementary Café Products

No café owner or manager enjoys going to four different restaurant supply stores for drink ingredients, cups, lids, and other supplies—especially during the hectic holidays. Make your roastery a wholesale partner’s one-stop shop for all things coffee this holiday season!

Complementary products can include:

  • Hot and cold cups / lids
  • Drink sleeves
  • Straws
  • Stirrers
  • Syrups
  • Sugars
  • Brewing equipment
  • Grab-and-go snacks
  • Premade bakery items
  • Canned coffees
  • To-go packaging

If you sell supplementary café supplies, figure out creative ways to push these sales during the holiday season. Consider creating wholesale product bundles or promotional discounts such as “Buy 100 pounds of the holiday blend and receive a box of 12oz hot cups for 50% off!”

‘Tis the Season for Collaborations

Sometimes the best way to drive more sales from wholesale partners is to work together and create holiday sales opportunities for both parties.

For example, everyone loves a holiday market! Together with one of your coffee shop accounts, host a market with pop-up artisan vendors selling everything from specialty chocolates to craft products and more. They’ll provide the venue and service, and you take care of the coffee! 

Or, you can collaborate on co-branded products beyond holiday blends. From collaborating with candle makers on a coffee-inspired candle to developing a home brewing gift bundle with a kitchen supply store, the opportunities to collaborate and drive sales are endless.

A Little Gift Goes A Long Way

The concept of receiving a free or discounted gift gives customers more of an incentive to pay full price during their next interaction. After all, wouldn’t you be more likely to buy again from a business that gave you a free gift?

When it comes to increasing wholesale orders during the holiday season, a little gift can have a big impact. Consider giving your wholesale accounts holiday gifts such as:

  • A gift basket filled with products selected just for them
  • A free five-pound bag of your holiday blend
  • Bags of coffee for their employees
  • A gift card to a local business
  • 50% off their next order
  • Handmade products from a local artisan

This small token of appreciation can lead to an increase in sales that ultimately benefits the bottom line!

Beyond attempting to prompt a future purchase, the holiday season is a time of giving. Giving a small gift shows your appreciation for each client’s continued trust in your team, love of your coffee, and support in future business endeavors.

Download Now: The Coffee Roaster's Guide to Profitable Holidays

Increasing sales volume and frequency from wholesale accounts is a great way to increase sales during the holiday season—but it’s not the only tactic you should use.

In our eBook, we cover five proven strategies to drive sales during the busiest time of year. Download now to discover how your roastery can tackle the holidays with confidence and increase sales along the way!

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