marketing espresso is a tasty job ... someone has to do it.
Swaslu samples Stealth Roast Americanos
(and, on occasion, other espresso based drinks) using anonymous flash frozen manual (https://www.rok.coffee ) espresso roasts at events ... and collects up unbiased reviews and comments.
Swaslu collates the results and creates a database of anonymous taste preference information.
Americanos (and espresso based drinks) will rule the world!
***NOTE: we often mix a bit of this espresso and a bit of that espresso making the don't blink espresso.
We ran a theater/cafe/event hall in Brooklyn that hosted some non-trivial markets (> 100 vendors).
We ran the events and took notes on what the artisans claimed they wanted.
Often, artisans were unsure as they just applied to markets because everyone else did.
What we eventually ascertained was that there rarely was the analysis of whether the artisan was there as a trade show (marketing) or as a going concern (market=day job=income), hope springing eternal that each and every thing they did could be cash flow positive.
Almost to a market (Christmas markets excepted), the food products that took off, be they cheese, cupcakes, marmalade/jam, olive oils, mustards, soda, whiskey, jerky, hot pepper candies, hot chocolate, tacos, ramp butter, or candies, were the ones that sampled liberally.
And, since foods are things people buy more than once, sampling is a great way, the only really effective way, to get onto a potential customer's radar.
The only food that escaped the need to sample was lobster because, well, lobster.
Thus we found, for food, was that the answer should always be marketing as it is quite a costly and draining engineering trick to have each and every purveyor navigate the health codes, staff the event, pay for transit and hotels and hope that they become the a breakout when their focus is naturally split due to the pressures of keeping the business running at home and isn't solely to hit the markets and pop up events.
In addition, these constraints almost preclude legitimate market research.
We focus on marketing quality Americanos using a variety of Stealth Roasts and goodies that go well with espresso so roasters don't have to.
Feedback should be held close to some scientific rigor.
If the taste testing public is aware of who you are, especially in the coffee world, it moves the needle destroying the analysis.
Swaslu presents Stealth Roasts as an Americano (or some other espresso based drink) with a code known only to Swaslu (and not to the public or any Roaster).
Swaslu then gets feedback from the sampling public about the Stealth Roast.
Swaslu then collates that feedback and tells roasters something about the public's impression of the taste of the Stealth Roast done as an Americano (or some other espresso based drink).
Roasters can have some feedback from the Holy Grail of coffee, the "average joe" (pun intended).
Swaslu gets good coffee out to those who regularly buy bad coffee as well as those already trained palates.
The crescendo of boutique coffee roasters has created an almost unimaginable and unmanageable glut of options.
How much sun?
How much rain?
How much did the growers pay their help?
Did you buy direct from the grower?
These all swamped the mission, getting excellent tastes out to a wide audience.
And, as smaller roasters hit the scene, their ability to get the word out at markets and festivals has waned due to the logistical and cost issues of spreading staff too thin and focus too wide.
Long gone are the days of having a good espresso be enough to make anyone go any substantive distance for an espresso as espresso is on every corner, however mediocre. You must bring the espresso mountain to Muhammad.
This is where Swaslu steps up to the proverbial plate.
Seems axiomatic, time spent taking a risk marketing other than at your brick and mortar locale is a risk, an often expensive risk.
Swalslu can help Roasters mitigate the risk and expense of marketing.
Some numbers (estimated):
- --Two days at a Street Festival (10' spot) : $450-$600
- --Travel : local=Uber/Lyft/Taxi to and from event ($50), distant= gas, tolls, parking, wear and tear ($150).
- --Staff time: local : 20 hrs minimum (@$15/hr=$300), distant: Friday, Saturday and Sunday( 30 hrs@$15/hr=$450) + hotel (2 nights@$150/night=$300).
- --Stock up product time: three weeks=$300(?).
- --Banners/Marketing material: $200.
- --Storage (fridge, display case), prep (h20, sink, heating equip): $1,500 (minimum to meet code).
- --Insurance for the event : $100 minimum.
So it ranges on a low of $2,900 to a high of $3,600 for two dates or $1450-$1800 per day.
That is a lot of simoleans for two days when you are a small shop, no matter the quality of your product.
Swaslu gets some economies of scale and gets the word out at NO RISK TO THE BRAND!
We ran a cafe for years in about 60 square feet of kitchen and register and display.
By that experience we learned how to pack the necessary things in a small space.
Swaslu will use that swiss army knife approach to whatever market/fair/festival/pop-up locale, be it indoors or out, 3',4',5', 6', 8' or 10'.
Swaslu efficiency is a roaster's gain.
Swaslu preps roasts with an eyeball towards ever increasing quality of shot.
That quality is frozen in quickly and thawed just in time to make an Americano that will make you forget other options.
What we learned over 15 years of coffee is how to make excellent flavor profiles survive being frozen.
With an excellent flavor profile present at a point of consumption and absent a heavy espresso machine at the point of consumption, and all the prep and cleaning that entails, the Swaslu stealth roast roadshow becomes possible.
With that excellent flavor profile, sampling can be accomplished effectively.
And, with sampling, comes feedback.
And, with feedback, comes value to the roaster.
To top it off, each sampled roast will get a numeric code known only to Swaslu.
That code allows for the requisite anonymity. It also allows for Swaslu to sell full jars of frozen espresso at more permanent locations and via online ordering.
Lastly, in addition to all this, if a Stealth Roast samples well and Swaslu starts ordering for more than sampling, roasters may want to stock some yourselves, either for down times or for sale to your customers, having had the market research done at zero risk to your brand.
Want your roast in the mix?
Apply and pay the requisite fee for a fixed number of sampling dates (backed by a fixed number of samples).
Send us 11 lbs (1 to dial you in and 10 for the public) to start.
We process the beans to actual frozen shots, not just some brew of an espresso roast.
We hit the road, sampling roughly equally among 6 or so roasts (usually a varied mix from light to dark).
When we have finished the contracted sampling, we send you the results, be they ratings and/or comments.
Once done sampling, Swaslu will decide whether to keep your roast number active for mail order or other retail pre-drawn Stealth Roast sales by ordering beans wholesale from you, but who the roaster is and what the roast name is still being anonymous.
Once done sampling, the Roaster can decide for themselves if they want the frozen product done for them by Swaslu.
If Swaslu stays on as a wholesale client, your roast will pop up in our eventual Brick and Mortar locations.
Be prepared to provide :
- Roaster Name.
- Roast Name.
- Contact First Name .
- Contact Last Name.
- Roaster URL.
- Email address.
- Address of Roaster.
- Phone Number.
The double guarantee: for $1,000 and 11lbs of beans, 1 to dial it in and 10 to process into a Stealth Roast, we will sample a minimum of 600 samples over 8 or more days or a refund commensurate with the number of un-sampled samples.
If all goes well, we will start wholesaling your Stealth Roast to further the cause of Americano as more flavor for more people being all that matters.
While SwaSlu seeks to sample Stealth Roasts over 8 sampling dates, many things could cause traffic on those dates to be fewer samples than we guarantee.
It could be a short day (some are 6 hours, others are 8), the weather may not cooperate or the event may fail to provide adequate or promised foot traffic.
If these are the case such that we have sampled 8 dates but have not fulfilled the number of samples, we will endeavor to sample you at other events/pop-ups/locations until we fulfill our sample guarantee.
And, clearly, although we will provide samples to the public, there is no guarantee that each and every person will provide feedback. Thus is the nature of sampling.
There is a lot of hand waving about instant coffees / espressos.
While they are eminently possible, we are not providing an instant coffee/espresso.
We highlight a flash frozen actual espresso roast drawn as an espresso brought back to life as an Americano (or some other espresso based drink).
The alchemy of instant espresso will have to wait.
Have a food product that complements an Americano (or some other espresso based drink)?
If so, more info here : https://swaslu.com/wip/10079 .
Looks like July, 2019 starts the season.
Calendar posted in late June/ Early July.