Coffee Shifts to At-Home Consumption

Nov. 12, 2020
Add coffee to the list of products that are doing poorly in restaurants but great in grocery stores.

Add coffee to the list of products that are doing poorly in restaurants but great in grocery stores.

Retail sales of coffee, including mainstream brands like Folgers and Maxwell House, have benefited from consumers eating breakfast at home more often during the pandemic. Retail sales are up by about 10% this year, five times the usual annual sales increase, according to the Wall Street Journal. Coffee sales for J.M. Smucker, marketer of Folgers, were up 23% in the last quarter. Sales of home coffeemakers are up 28%.

At the same time, coffee retailers are hurting. Starbucks Corp. reported a 9% decrease in sales, while Dunkin’ Brands has closed hundreds of stores (and just got bought by Inspire Brands Inc.).

Coffee suppliers are trying to capitalize on the momentum by bringing out dark roasts and other products that allow consumers to replicate coffeehouse drinks at home.

“Employers are saying that people can work from home indefinitely, so we expect this sales momentum to last at least for the next two or three years,” a Smucker coffee executive told the Journal.

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