Sponsored by Smucker Away from Home
Many long-term care (LTC) residents and acute care hospital patients are enthusiastic and discerning coffee drinkers. To increase satisfaction and provide comfort, more foodservice directors in healthcare are turning to high-quality coffee brands they have loved for years.
The decision to build a coffee program around well-known coffee brands is gaining in popularity. A growing number of LTC and acute care facilities are leveraging the power of brands in their food and beverage offerings. In fact, a recent research study of LTC dining services by Food Management reported that three in four operators (72 percent) believe it is important to residents that brands they once used or preferred at home are included in LTC programs.1
In another industry study, more than half of the respondents said brand-name beverage offerings are somewhat or very important to them.2 It’s clear that for residents and patients, that familiar cup of coffee provides a welcome taste of home.
A Growing Base
Patient and resident numbers have been growing steadily over the past few years. A person turning 65 years old today has almost a 70-percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services in their remaining years.3 And more than 36 million patients were admitted to hospitals in the United States in 2018.4
Bear in mind that baby boomers—a generation on the cutting edge of food and beverage trends for decades—are poised to enter LTC in increasing numbers. They will expect the same quality of coffee that they have enjoyed at home. Offering them second-rate, off-brand coffee is not the way to earn loyalty and word-of-mouth support for the facility, which can be valuable for recruiting new residents.
Brands are symbols of quality that guide informed product choices. Certain brands stand head and shoulders above others because they have long track records of engaging with consumers and winning their loyalty. Studies have found that boomers prefer these legacy brands to a greater degree than other generations. Research shows that 51 percent of boomers say they like “brands from big companies that have been around a long time,” compared to 48 percent of millennials, 45 percent of Gen X and 39 percent of Gen Z.5
Thus it pays to explore branded solutions, both household coffee brands and trusted on-demand brewing systems, that make it simple and fast to serve high-quality coffee to residents, patients, visitors and staff.
Boosting Comfort and Camaraderie
For a person adjusting to life in an LTC facility, or a patient undergoing treatment in an acute care hospital, a good cup of national brand coffee can be one of the high points of the day. A comforting cup of coffee is even more welcome in times like these, when society overall, and healthcare in particular, are grappling with unprecedented challenges.
Throughout their lives, LTC residents have trusted national brands and given them their loyalty and word-of-mouth support. The feelings of familiarity that they stimulate create emotional, human connections that are vital to satisfaction and a sense of well-being.
“A cup of coffee can really be a source of comfort for a lot of people,” says Jesse Baedke, manager of food and nutrition services at CoxHealth.
National brand coffee is likewise important to the family and friends who visit residents and patients and the professionals who care for them. In fact, when it comes to the workforce, an appealing coffee program is a workplace amenity that boosts employee satisfaction and enhances recruitment.
National coffee brands have well-established identities and extensive product portfolios. Partnering with national coffee brands offers such advantages as:
- Coffee is available in multiple flavors and brew strengths to meet the diverse tastes of residents, patients, visitors and staff.
- Multiple coffee service formats are available—including convenient liquid-coffee concentrate for on-demand coffee dispensers, traditional roast and ground coffee, single-serve pods and fraction packs—for venues such as resident dining rooms, employee break areas, retail coffee stations, lobbies and kiosks.
- LTC and acute care facilities may be provided with branded equipment and merchandising materials that send a message of quality.
- Expert sales and service teams are available to support LTC and acute care operations.
High-quality coffee adds to the satisfaction of LTC residents and acute care patients. It is meaningful for visitors and staff as well. Dining directors would do well to explore branded coffee solutions with proven track records of pleasing customers.
For more information about the advantages of branded coffee, contact Smucker Away From Home at www.smuckerawayfromhome.com or (877) 693-6543.
- Coffee in Long Term Care Facilities, Food Management
- 2017 Hot and Cold Beverage Study, Technomic
- LongTermCare.gov, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
- 2018 AHA Annual Survey, American Hospital Association
- Gen Z 2018, The Hartman Group