‘Proven formula’ impacts PH coffee scene, drinkers

Coffee drinks that start at P50 and nothing over P100. This was one of the things that Metro Manila-based brand Pickup Coffee made clear during a casual luncheon with the press here in Cebu City.

Are price shocks the best way to start a business? I have some thoughts on this formula, but perhaps, that’s for another article.

If you haven’t noticed yet, there have been a few Pickup Coffee stalls lately all over Cebu City. The coffee is affordable. The taste is right. The packaging is top-notch. All of these are offered by the hyper-expanding coffee brand.

Pickup Coffee was started by a group of friends and opened its first store at Uptown Bonifacio in June 2022. Today, the brand has 58 stores nationwide. In Cebu, Pickup Coffee can be found in lifestyle locations like Ayala Center Cebu, Banilad Town Centre, JY Square, The Mactan Newtown, Streetscape, and barangays Labogon, Mabolo and Tipolo.

Interestingly enough, I first had my taste of Pickup Coffee by ordering it via an online food ordering and delivery service. Even with the markup that comes with selling on these platforms, Pickup Coffee’s prices remain impressively competitive, with only the delivery fee poking a little hole into one’s pocket.

While the brand relies on its promise of making quality coffee accessible via its low prices, its solid branding execution and the consistent flavor of its drinks (the sweet, iced ones in particular) turn the price shock argument moot. During the press luncheon, the brand served a variety of coffee while showcasing the skills of its baristas and its high-grade commercial barista coffee machine.

With a solid price proposition that is clearly targeting students and home-based young professionals, a line of products endorsed by celebrity Anne Curtis, and a taste and light-green packaging that separates it enough from being typecast as a mere clone of other global coffee chains, Pickup Coffee looks prime for a takeover.

Business-savvy readers take note, all of its stores are company owned and the brand is currently not into franchising.

Does this have the makings of a Mang Inasal success story all over again? Only time will tell when the Tan-Caktiongs start doing the math. For now, congratulations Pickup Coffee on your expansion in Metro Cebu.