Thursday 13 June 2024
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Buoyant US branded coffee shop market exceeds 40k outlets for the first time

Allegra Group Founder and CEO, Jeffrey Young: “To see the number of overall number of stores rising above 40,000 for the first time ever is credible evidence of a very robust market and there are strong times ahead for well- organized operators with strong a focus on customer service and clear brand purpose. Nevertheless, the post-pandemic market still presents significant hurdles for many US coffee chains. A tough labor market, high inflation and squeezed consumer spending will remain major market challenges over the next 12-18 months”

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LONDON, UK – Project Café USA 2024, World Coffee Portal’s definitive report on the US branded coffee shop market, reveals the $49.5bn segment now exceeds 40,000 outlets and reached 104% of its pre-Covid market value over the last 12 months. However, amid surging industry optimism nearly one fifth of operators have yet to fully recover from pandemic trading pressures.

Project Café USA 2024: the US branded coffee shop market

$49.5bn US branded coffee shop market reaches 104% of pre-pandemic value, achieving 8% sales growth over the last 12 months

US branded coffee shop market achieves strong net outlet growth, increasing 4% to reach 40,062 stores

World Coffee Portal forecasts total US branded coffee shop market sales will exceed $52.4bn over the next 12 months and $61.6bn by 2028, led by coffee- focused segment turnover

The US market is expected to surpass 45,200 outlets by September 2028, displaying five-year growth of 2.5% CAGR US branded coffee shop market exceeds 40,000 stores and surpasses pre-pandemic value

The total branded US coffee shop market now stands 7% above its pre-pandemic size following robust 4% outlet growth over the last 12 months to reach 40,062 stores.

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Market leader Starbucks added 494 net new stores over the last 12 months to reach 16,144. The Seattle-based coffee chain retains a 40% share of the total branded coffee shop segment, ahead of Dunkin’ which opened 172 net new stores to reach 9,434 and Panera Bread which closed 22 net sites to reach 2,151.

The US branded coffee shop market also reached 104% of its pre-pandemic value over the last 12 months, growing 8% to $49.5bn – however, 19% of operators report they have yet to fully recover from pandemic trading pressures. The total US branded coffee shop market is forecast to exceed $52.4bn over the next 12 months and reach $61.6bn by 2028.

Industry leaders increasingly optimistic as trading momentum continues

The strong recovery of customer footfall over the last 12 months means most US operators are optimistic about trading. Three quarters (76%) of industry leaders surveyed report a positive sales environment in 2023, compared with 49% last year. Additionally, only 11% cited trading conditions as difficult – 10% fewer than in 2022.

Moreover, 70% of operators surveyed reported sales growth over the last 12 months. However, following a sharp post-pandemic sales rebound in 2022, the number reporting sales growth over 5% fell from 46% to 28%.

Twenty-three percent of consumers surveyed said they are back to visiting or ordering from coffee shops daily, compared to 16% 12 months ago, while the number visiting at least once a week has risen 5% to 69%.

Cold coffee a key product trend as younger consumers boost sales

Younger consumers continue to drive the cold and iced coffee growth, with 79% of under- 35s surveyed typically purchasing an iced beverage at least once a week.

World Coffee Portal’s survey of over 5,000 US coffee shop customers found daily consumption of cold coffee increased 8% over the last 12 months, with iced coffee second only to filter coffee in terms of last coffee shop order frequency.

With 24% of consumers surveyed consuming iced coffee daily, up from 17% in 2022, half of industry leaders now consider cold coffee to be the most important market trend currently – ahead of the rise of specialty coffee (32%) and drive-thru growth (29%).

In-store dwell time on the rise but convenience remains crucial

US consumers are spending more time in coffee shops, with the proportion spending less than 10 minutes in a coffee shop during their last visit falling 5% over the last 12 months to 46%, with those staying for up to 30 minutes increasing 13%.

However, indicating that convenience and speed of service remain key service elements in the US, just 4% of US consumers surveyed spent more than 30 minutes in-store – although consumers under the age of 35 are more likely to dwell for 11 minutes or longer compared to older demographics.

Additionally, 36% of consumers surveyed purchased a beverage to take-away on their last visit, compared to 23% who purchased a beverage to consume in-store.

Further highlighting strong demand for convenience, 56% of consumers surveyed stated a preference for drive-thru rather than physically entering the coffee shop – with drive-thru chains Scooter’s Coffee and Dutch Bros among the fastest growing operators over the last 12 months – opening 224 and 167 net new stores respectively.

Strong trading expected to continue as operators double down on outlet growth

Sales momentum is forecast to continue over the next 12 months with 58% of industry leaders surveyed expecting improved trading conditions next year – just 5% anticipate a deterioration.

Additionally, the number of operators believing that like-for-like sales growth will exceed GDP growth over the next 12 months has increased from 40% in 2022 to 51% this year.

World Coffee Portal forecasts US branded coffee shop sales will exceed $52.4bn over the next 12 months and reach $61.6bn by 2028, displaying five-year growth of 4.5% CAGR. The total market is expected to exceed 41,300 outlets in 2024 and 45,200 by September 2028, with coffee-focused operators leading growth.

Commenting on the report findings, Allegra Group Founder and CEO Jeffrey Young said:

“To see the number of overall number of stores rising above 40,000 for the first time ever is credible evidence of a very robust market and there are strong times ahead for well- organized operators with strong a focus on customer service and clear brand purpose.
Nevertheless, the post-pandemic market still presents significant hurdles for many US coffee chains. A tough labor market, high inflation and squeezed consumer spending will remain major market challenges over the next 12-18 months.”

Sources

• Over 150 online surveys, consultations and in-depth interviews with leading industry insiders, decision makers and key staff
• Over 5,000 online surveys with US coffee shop consumers
• On-site data sourcing complemented with desk research via company websites, published accounts, trade press and news articles

About Allegra World Coffee Portal

Allegra World Coffee Portal (WCP) is the global information platform delivering unparalleled insight on the global coffee, café and related food-to-go sectors. World Coffee Portal provides

data, reports, research and consultancy to help businesses make informed decisions and is the only specialist information platform for senior decision makers in the coffee industry. World Coffee Portal builds upon Allegra Strategies’ 25+ years of experience in global coffee market analysis. For more info click here.

About Project Café USA 2024

Project Café USA 2024 is Allegra World Coffee Portal’s comprehensive annual analysis of the USA’s expansive branded coffee shop market. Get your coffee business up to speed and gear up for growth with the latest market sizing and projections, pricing analysis, brand profiles, consumer trends based on 5,000+ surveys, and industry insight based on 150+ consultations with senior business leaders.

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