Huskee provides an update on the HuskeeSwap system


Huskee provides an update on the renewed HuskeeSwap system, its new loyalty program, and how the company is helping society transition from a single-use world.

To reusable coffee cup manufacturer Huskee, takeaway cups need to be more than environmentally friendly if they are to be sustainable. They need to provide an elevated experience, be convenient and viable for a café to use long-term, and at volume. This is an area where Huskee Head of Sales and Marketing Michael McFarlane says most reusable cup solutions struggle.

“When a barista in a café starts to receive a lot of reusables, they suddenly have a stack of cups to fill and need to speed up their workflow to manage different sizes, shapes, and lid configurations, all the while remembering whose is whose. It becomes tough to manage on a daily basis,” Michael says.

To overcome this, Huskee designed and launched the HuskeeSwap system in 2019, allowing consumers to exchange their used HuskeeCups for a cleaned one when ordering coffee at a participating café. A coffee shop just needs to stock HuskeeCups to take part in the program, as well as retail cups so customers can join in.

“The advantage of HuskeeSwap is streamlined inventory. When someone arrives at a café with a HuskeeCup, they just have to hand in their cup and lid, the café puts it aside to wash at a less busy time, and the customer gets one of the café’s floating cups kept on top of the machine,” Michael says.

“The hygiene is exactly the same as you’d expect from dine-in cutlery. They’re washed, sanitised, and put through a commercial dishwasher onsite, so the barista just grabs a HuskeeCup as they would a single-use cup, and off they go.”

The company has recently launched an update of its phone application to further streamline the HuskeeSwap program and improve user experience.

“The new version includes guides on how to use the swap system, easy logins, and a locations map to find and exchange HuskeeCups at over 1200 locations worldwide,” Michael says.

“With the HuskeeSwap app, you can search cafés and find your nearest swap site. You can also store a cup with a café, withdraw a cup from where you stored it, and borrow or return a cup if you left yours at home, for example, by simply scanning a QR code.”

A new loyalty card feature has also been included in the app update.

“We’re now offering a digital loyalty card for free to participating cafés to further incentivise the use of reusable cups. Customers can receive a free coffee after a number of purchases determined by the café, by scanning the digital rewards card each time they use HuskeeSwap. We’ll soon be expanding our loyalty program to allow customers to earn points, which will be redeemable on all Huskee products and with partnering brands.” Michael says.

Huskee Partnership Manager Chad Buxton says the best thing about the HuskeeSwap system is that it is designed for scale and applicable for corporates, Council areas and universities to enable large impacts and behaviour-change.

“This is where a reuse system really shines,” he says. “A great example of corporate impact when applied at scale was recently shown by our partner Canva, who eliminated over three million single-use items in 2022 alone, utilising HuskeeCups across three global office locations and saved an estimated $400,000 in packaging.”

Huskee completed a case study in May 2023 with long-time supporter Cat & Cow café in Randwick, Sydney, showing that with only 10 per cent of its customers use HuskeeSwap regularly. The café added an additional $3400 in revenue and saved close to $600 in packaging costs alone.

With the majority of Australian states and territories committed to completely banning single-use plastics by 2025, Michael says businesses will need to consider making the switch to reusable cups sooner rather than later.

“Venues will in essence have two choices: switch to compostable takeaway cups, which are still single use, further increase costs, and likely don’t have a composting pathway anyway. Or, commit to a Swap system that meets customer’s expectations, saves significant money on packaging costs, and in the case of HuskeeSwap, adds an additional revenue stream to the business. Reuse is simply better for business, and for the planet,” he says.

“Everything we do is about removing single-use cups. Reusable cups alone aren’t doing enough and puts the onus on the consumer. HuskeeSwap facilitates more people choosing reusable cups over single-use wasteful behaviours and through good implementation of service that is just as convenient.”

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This article appears in the June 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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