Consumers still want quality coffee

Consumers never gave up their coffee despite the recession. As a result, coffee sales have remained flat or even increased for nearly all retail and foodservice channels.

Coffee consumption a constant

For the past three years, coffee consumption has remained mostly unchanged, with consumers reporting 56 percent of adults drinking coffee daily or weekly, according to the National Coffee Association (NCA) 2010 National Coffee Drinking Trends survey.

According to the 2010 survey, 84 percent of consumers report no change in their coffee consumption habits over the past six months, which is the same as it was in 2009. The data suggested coffee is just something few people are willing to give up. The NCA survey also reports more consumers asking for high quality coffee, something OCS operators have seen increasing since branded coffee shops gained popularity. The survey reports 40 percent of the coffee consumed is now gourmet.

While consumption has stayed the same, 2010 saw an increase in the percentage of coffee drinkers who prepared their coffee at home, 86 percent compared to 82 percent. However, this trend doesn’t appear to be affecting foodservice coffee, according to industry sources.

Foodservice coffee Rises

Total coffee market sales, including foodservice and retail, rose to $48 billion in 2009, with annual growth of 4 percent in 2008 and 2009.

Sales in foodservice reached $42 billion, accounting for 87 percent of the coffee market.

Recession highlights OCS benefits

For Automatic Merchandiser’s 2009 OCS Operator Of The Year, Rafael Rosario, a salesman for Emerald Hills Coffee Service in Mulkiteo, Wash. the recession has actually helped sell OCS. He claims it underscores the economic benefits of OCS compared to other retailers.

With the extensive availability of high quality private labels, various fractional pack weights, and the variety offered by single-cup brewers, OCS operators have more options than ever to meet customer needs. The many options also allow OCS operators to change programs for those customers who are cost sensitive due to the recession.

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