Marshmallows might seem like an unnecessary and frivolous addition to a coffee shop, but including them is essential. These weird clumps of foamy sugar arguably have just as much marketing appeal as the dark-roasted beans themselves.
But why is this? Let’s take a look.
The Comfort And Nostalgia
Why do people go to coffee shops? The naive answer is they are doing it to get their caffeine fix. The more sophisticated response you sometimes hear from economists is that they are “renting a table” and the drink is just a reward for doing that.
But for many people, going to a coffee shop is for the comfort the environment offers. Marshmallow topping on drinks adds to this and brings a sense of nostalgia from childhood.
Critically, you don’t actually need to get customers to physically consume marshmallows to have an effect. Just seeing a drink topped with them in the window can be enough to draw them in. It’s the psychological effect that matters, not just the taste.
The Sensory Appeal
Another reason to leverage the humble marshmallow in your coffee shop is the sensory appeal it offers. The taste and sponginess of these candies complement the drinks and cakes most cafés sell.
Families are particularly prone to going to coffee shops that use marshmallows in their advertising. That’s because their kids often literally drag them inside.
Then, there’s just the taste. While chocolate chips can be added to a hot chocolate or mochachino, marshmallows take it to the next level.
While commercial bean to cup coffee machines are great for making your coffee shop more efficient, marshmallows take the Instagram crown. Their colorfulness and volume make them the perfect subjects for all your visual advertising online.
Plus, thanks to some wacky food manufacturing, you can get marshmallows that are massive, pillowy, and differently-shaped. This turns them into a kind of craft tool you can use to make new arrangements and advertising. Marshmallows help you explore your creativity instead of posting the same images of your products on social media every week.
Another benefit of marshmallows is their affordability. Like balloons, they are cheap but have a significant visual impact.
Marshmallows are essentially made from ingredients that are byproducts of other food manufacturing processes. This cuts their cost significantly, particularly when bought in bulk. You can use them to inexpensively add value to your drinks without harming your margins (for customers who actually want them).
Finally, marshmallows give you opportunities to be more creative in your coffee shop. You can add them to mochas, cappuccinos, and other milky drinks to improve their visual appeal.
This small addition helps you stand out from the competition. If you can create visually-exciting drinks, customers will feel more excited by the experience when they come to you.
So, there you have it: some of the reasons why the humble marshmallow is essential for coffee shop success. Don’t forget to include it as a topping option in your café and add it to your marketing materials.