Cup for Life – What do people want?

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The first pilot that we rolled out within the Cup for Life project was in collaboration with two catering establishments in Utrecht: Lebkov and eethuis Vers. The main goal? Learn more about consumer preferences and the operation of a business model where from now on you get your favorite drink in a to go cup that you return.

At the moment there are actually two possibilities. You buy your flat white in a single use cup that you throw away after 15 minutes. Or you should always remember to have your own cup with you. But what if you can get a cup from the coffee shop itself that you can simply return to various points in the city?

In the first phase of this pilot, we mainly looked at the response of consumers to this option. Do they like it? And why? This information helps to build a better business case. Lebkov and Vers customers were certainly interested in the possibilities of the reusable cup. The main motivation for choosing this option was sustainability. A deposit works well to get the cup back, but a subscription form is also attractive for often returning customers. It is essential for customers that they can easily hand in the cup at several places and that they do not have to wash it themselves. People did not seem to be concerned about the hygiene of the cups.
The cup itself should sit comfortably in your hand, be available in different sizes and, very importantly, not leak. The drinks must also remain at the right temperature.

With these results, we are working towards the next phase in the pilot, in which we test how we can also make this model financially attractive for entrepreneurs. In addition, we look at whether the look of the cup is important and which tech behind the system is most useful to apply. We already know that customers do not find the use of an app a barrier to using the reusable cup, but we will look at which technology best suits this in this next phase. We are also connecting more catering entrepreneurs in Utrecht for this next pilot.

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