Analysis: America’s Coffee Addiction

Pattern Data Science

September 16, 2021

For millions of Americans, coffee is far more than another beverage. It’s a crucial part of their morning routine, a vital midday pick-me-up, and/or the only way to make it through the day.

According to the National Coffee Association, 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee every week, 62% drink it every day, and the average coffee drinker drinks about 3 cups of coffee per day.

It’s no wonder, then, that the beverage has its very own Holiday. National Coffee Day falls on September 29th every year (shortly before International Coffee Day on October 1st). As National Coffee Day approaches, it got us wondering how this past year has impacted the way Americans consume their coffee.

Did COVID-19’s lockdowns result in people stockpiling coffee beans? Did people spend their stimulus checks on a fancy new espresso machine? And if so, have we seen trends shift back to normal in 2021?

As always, we dove deep into our data to uncover insights into how COVID-19 may have impacted online shopping for coffee supplies, how 2021 looks so far, and what that might mean for the future.

Americans stocked up on coffee supplies during initial weeks of COVID-19 lockdowns

There are a lot of layers to analyzing online demand for coffee. People shop online for everything from coffee beans and filters, to high-end coffee makers and espresso machines, and everything between.

So, to keep things simple, we started our analysis with a broad look at online demand for all things related to coffee, starting in January of 2020 through this year so far.

Unsurprisingly, online demand for items and supplies in the “coffee” category spiked in the first weeks of the initial COVID-19 shutdowns. Online demand stayed quite high as Americans clearly stocked up as local coffee shops closed their doors and grocery store shelves began to empty.

By mid-summer, online demand had dipped to below pre-pandemic levels, but rebounded to new high points during the holidays.

For more context, we next compared monthly demand last year to 2019, and 2021 (so far).

In 2019, online demand drops each month from January through April, before slowly climbing again during late summer and spiking to annual highs in November and December.

In 2020, meanwhile, we can see how the early months of the pandemic altered demand in those typically slower months. The rest of 2020 then followed a similar pattern as 2019, but with demand remaining higher during each month.

So far, 2021 has seen demand remain well above 2019’s levels, and even above 2020’s with the exception of March and April. This suggests that many Americans are still holding onto the “at home” coffee setup they began during the pandemic.

To learn even more about how COVID-19 may have changed our coffee habits, we next dug a a few layers deeper into our data.

Comparing online demand for coffee supplies vs coffee equipment

Online shopping for coffee can be broken down into two primary categories: coffee supplies (beans, filters, etc.), and equipment (coffee makers, kettles, etc.). So we next wanted to see if online demand was different for each of these types of categories.

First, we examined demand for coffee beans and coffee filters, starting with weekly demand for each.

Here we see initial evidence that COVID-19 had a far greater impact on coffee supplies than on coffee equipment. Demand for coffee beans absolutely exploded in the first weeks of lockdown, then remained largely consistent in the weeks following.

Demand for coffee makers held steady in the first weeks of the pandemic, spiking instead on Prime Day 2020, during the holidays, and again on Prime Day 2021. This suggests that during the first months of the pandemic, people were far more likely to stock up on supplies than invest in a whole new coffee making setup.

Now let’s take a look at monthly demand since 2019.

After demand for coffee beans exploded during the earliest months of the pandemic, by 2021 it has actually returned to pre-pandemic levels. Interestingly, demand for coffee makers this year has been consistently far higher than during the spring and summer months of both 2020 and 2019.

This suggests that early on in the pandemic, Americans were far more concerned with stocking up on the essentials, but perhaps after many long months away from their favorite coffee shop, people then began to look to upgrading their coffee making equipment.

Which types of coffee supplies and equipment have been most impacted by COVID-19?

To further test this hypothesis, we took an even closer look at specific types of coffee supplies and equipment. Items like coffee filters, espresso machines, k-cups, gooseneck kettles, and more.

We started by comparing total demand for each of these types of supplies and equipment during March and April 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019 to see which ones were most (or least) impacted by the initial COVID lockdowns.

Again, we see here that coffee supplies received a much larger bump in the first months of the pandemic. Coffee filters saw demand surge by a whopping 157%, while coffee beans and cold brew also experienced large lifts in demand.

Nothing on our list saw demand drop during those months, but coffee-making equipment like French presses, coffee makers saw very little change in demand vs. 2019. Interestingly, K-Cups didn’t receive nearly the type of lift that you’d expect based on the type of lift that other coffee supplies received.

Next, let’s compare online demand during 2021 so far vs the same timeframe in 2019 to better understand the long-term impacts of the past 18 months.

Cold brew saw the biggest increase in demand during 2021 so far compared to the first half of 2019, while espresso machines were a very close second.

Cold brew has grown rapidly in popularity over the past few years, so this is quite likely a combination of shifts in consumer appetites as well as the pandemic driving more people to seek ways to get some tasty cold brew outside of their local coffee shop.

The growth in demand for espresso machines in 2021, meanwhile, suggests that perhaps people grew more interested in upgrading their at-home coffee setup as the pandemic dragged on into this year.

Interestingly, french presses, standard coffee drippers, and K-Cups have seen demand drop the most in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. The extreme drop in demand for K-Cups is extremely interesting. This may be the result of millions of Americans working from home, and K-Cups being an extremely popular office coffee solution. Or it could be signs of a greater shift away from these single-use items.

When we compare monthly demand for K-Cups since 2019, we see some evidence that demand for K-Cups was slowing prior to COVID-19. In fact, demand rose slightly during the initial months of lockdown, only to drop again and continue its downward trend.

This view for cold brew, meanwhile, further suggests that its increase in demand is more due to growth in overall popularity and less to do with pandemic-related shifts. Outside of a moderate bump in March and April 2020, we’ve seen remarkably consistent year-over-year growth from 2019 through 2021 so far.

Finally, a closer look at espresso machines further suggests a potential long-term impact of people spending more and more time at home and less time out at coffee shops. We see very little impact during the initial months of COVID-19, but demand spiked in October 2020 (likely thanks to Prime Day being bumped back to that month last year). It then started 2021 far ahead of January 2019 and 2020, and has remained consistently high throughout the year.

A lesson for brands

Our data shows that making a nice cup of coffee at home is more popular than ever before. The pandemic had a substantial immediate impact on coffee supplies like filters and coffee beans, but we’ve also seen a long term boost for higher-priced items like espresso machines.

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

For example, we’re seeing strong evidence that demand for single-use coffee items like K-Cups appears to be waning, while cold brews are more popular than ever.

Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on these trends and more in the coming weeks and months.

To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.

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Amazon's Sponsored Product ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

What Are Amazon’s Advertising Products? Sponsored Product, Brand, & Display Ads

Utilizing Amazon sponsored ads can be a smart way for a brand to drive greater traffic to a product listing and start increasing sales. While many brands still struggle to manage their advertising strategies, 30% of Amazon brand sellers increased their advertising budgets in 2022. As ecommerce executives (or even on the nose with VPs of ecommerce?)  approve their 2023 advertising budgets, it may be worth it to take a look at Amazon’s advertising products and the benefit they may have on increasing conversions. 

​​Pattern is the premier ecommerce accelerator with all of the expertise, data-driven insights, and technology brands need to gain control on Amazon and maintain their competitive niche. We know the high value of and how to utilize Amazon’s advertising products to drive the most traffic and conversions to benefit and accelerate your brand.

Here are Amazon’s three main advertising products you should know about in order to drive listing traffic to your products and increase conversions: 

For a brand executive who is selling their product on Amazon, you may not already know the differences between campaign type, so we will walk you through the differences and uses for each of these three ad campaigns.

Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Products are a mid-funnel advertising strategy that gives visibility to products above the top organic listings (see example below). This strategy uses custom keywords to get products in front of the consumers who are searching for them, however it can be used to capture new audiences as well.These cost-per-click (CPC) ads require no additional copy or images, but usually receive the most interaction of the campaigns and need to be monitored closely.

As you can see, these ads look just like an organic listing, however they say, “Sponsored,” on them. These types of ads can be especially effective forms of advertising because they tend to blend in with the organic results around them. With Sponsored Products, you can get your products in front of qualified customers who are searching for your product in such a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being served an advertisement.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are a top-of-funnel brand awareness tool and function on keywords. This ad format helps show a customer what they may be in need of and where to get it.  Commonly used to promote product lines or best sellers, a Sponsored Brand ad shows up as a banner above the search results (see example below). This type of ad requires that the brand showcase at least three separate products.

Unlike other campaigns used on the Amazon platform, Sponsored Brand ads require ad copy and a unique logo. These ads also can take customers to a custom landing page, or a page on the brand store, that way they get a clear and overall picture about who your brand is, what other products you sell, and why they can trust your brand

Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display ads can be a tactic for top, middle, or bottom of the advertising funnel due to its varying targeting abilities. Although most commonly found under the bullet points of a detail page, these ads can also show in emails, newsletters, and even more locations off platform.

Unlike the previous ad campaigns discussed, sponsored display ads can target shopping behaviors, like repeat purchasers, similar product purchasers, and even people who viewed the detail page but did not buy. Sponsored Display ads help customers discover your brand, drive awareness, and create loyalty. 

The example above shows just one of the many placements Sponsored Display has.

Accelerate Your Sponsored Products With Pattern 

Rather than competing with each other, each of the three sponsored ad products focus on a different section of the sales funnel, allowing you to target your customers and hit your sales numbers, all while edging out possible competitors. When brands use these advertising campaigns, they can better optimize their ad budget to improve ROAS and build revenue. 

At Pattern, we have all the resources to help your brand build successful advertising and digital marketing campaigns on Amazon so you can increase traffic and conversions, which will in turn increase your revenue

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters]( Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News]( Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail]( DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail]( The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.