The Biggest Influences on Consumer Demand for Coffee Products

Pattern Data Science

September 15, 2022

 5 minute read time
The Biggest Influences on Consumer Demand for Coffee Products

What Drives Consumer Demand for Coffee Products?

Pattern analyzes the top influences driving consumer demand for coffee products from 2020 – 22.

Key Highlights:

  • Coffee brands by highest consumer demand
    • When is consumer demand for coffee brands highest?
  • Cold brew vs. hot coffee vs. espresso — what do consumers want?
    • Prime Day and weather drive consumer demand for coffee, cold brew, and espresso
  • Coffee types in highest demand
  • Coffee machines in highest demand
    • When is coffee machine demand highest?
  • Key takeaways for ecommerce coffee retailers

As National Coffee Day approaches on September 29, our team decided to take a closer look at what’s been driving consumer demand for various coffee products from 2020 – 22.

While retailers might not expect an increase in consumer demand during National Coffee Day in September, our analysis suggests a strong correlation between higher overall demand for coffee products and Prime Day. With rumors of another Prime Day slated for October 2022, it’s important for ecommerce coffee retailers to prepare for possible increased demand during this time.

Coffee Brands by Highest Consumer Demand

Our team made some surprising discoveries when it came to consumers’ coffee brand preferences. Even though Starbucks, Maxwell House, Dunkin, and Folgers hold the largest market shares in the space, Starbucks was the only brand that consistently remained at the top of consumers’ minds from 2020 – 22. Privately owned brands like Black Rifle Coffee, Community Coffee, Café Bustelo, and Death Wish rounded out the top five coffee brands in highest demand during this same period. Here’s a look at the spread of consumer demand among the brands we analyzed:

  

When is Consumer Demand for Coffee Brands Highest?

Consumer demand for specific coffee brands tends to be highest at three main points throughout the year: Valentine’s Day, Prime Day, and the period from Thanksgiving – Christmas Day. When observing seasonality trends in both 2020 and 2021, we can see this pattern repeat itself in both years:

 

Cold Brew vs. Hot Coffee vs. Espresso — What Do Consumers Want?

Overall, demand for coffee, cold brew, and espresso products has remained fairly consistent over the years. When observing weekly change in demand for each of these products in 2020, 2021, and 2022, we see very little fluctuation except for Prime Day:

  

Interestingly, espresso was the only category that experienced a spike in consumer demand. As consumers seek out deals on products with higher price points (i.e. espresso), demand for high-end coffee increases around Prime Day. Compared to the week preceding Prime Day, here’s how demand for espresso products increased from 2020 – 2022:

  • 2020: 198% increase during the week of October 11
  • 2021: 169% increase during the week of June 20
  • 2022: 252% increase during the week of July 10

Prime Day and Weather Drive Consumer Demand for Coffee, Cold Brew & Espresso

Prime Day is the driving force behind increased demand for espresso products. However, there are other noteworthy patterns our team observed that point to what may be influencing demand throughout the year — specifically weather changes.

For instance, when comparing seasonality in 2020 to 2021, we can see how demand for cold brew coffee sees an annual increase starting around May and tapering off by the end of September. Conversely, demand for espresso tends to fall during this same period (except for when Prime Day occurs during the summer in 2021).

 

Despite the cyclical increased demand for cold brew coffee products, however, demand overall for these products appears to be on a downward trend when comparing year over year demand:

 

Coffee Types in Highest Demand

The pandemic had little effect on consumer demand for coffee products in terms of brand, boldness, and temperature. However, when it came to specific types of coffee (whole bean, K-cup, ground, instant, etc.), the pandemic was an obvious factor influencing demand. In particular, coffee beans saw the highest increase in demand with a 182% increase over the annual average for 2020 during the week after the pandemic was formally declared:

We further see the pandemic’s influence on consumer demand when observing year over year change in demand from 2020 to 2021 in the chart below:

During the same week the pandemic was declared in 2020, demand for all products in this category fell significantly in 2021. K-cups saw the sharpest decrease at -74% year over year.

The pandemic wasn’t the only factor influencing consumer demand in 2020. In the charts below, we see Prime Day is a key factor in determining when demand will be highest across all types of coffee in 2021 and 2022:

 

Once more, we can see how products with higher price points see increased demand during Prime Day. K-cups and coffee beans saw the highest increase in demand during these periods. When comparing the week preceding Prime Day, here’s how much demand increased across these two product categories:

  • K-Cups | 2021: 74% increase during week of June 20
  • Coffee Beans | 2021: 31% increase during week of June 20
  • K-Cups | 2022: 98% increase during week of July 10
  • Coffee Beans | 2022: 31% increase during week of July 10

Coffee Machines in the Highest Demand

In every week where Prime Day occurred from 2020 – 22, demand for coffee machines of all types rose significantly. Just like with coffee beans, K-cups, and espresso, coffee machines see a spike in demand during this time because consumers are seeking out deals on products that are normally more expensive:

  

Espresso machines and Keurig machines are in the highest demand during this time while percolators, cold brew coffee makers, and French press machines take up the rear. This is likely due to the fact that espresso machines and Keurig machines have a higher price point than percolators, cold brew coffee makers, and French press machines.

When is Coffee Machines Demand Highest?

Not only can increased demand for coffee machines be observed during Prime Day, but consumers also tend to search more for these products during the holiday season and on Valentine’s Day. Using 2021 as the baseline for “new normal” in terms of seasonality, the chart below illustrates how consumer demand for coffee machines changes in a typical year:

As we can see, demand surges around Valentine’s Day with Keurig machines taking the lead in demand. This is likely due to the company’s annual Valentine’s Day sale. From Thanksgiving until Cyber Monday, demand increases again, this time with espresso and Keurig machines leading the way. Consumers are likely searching more for high-end products during this time as they prepare for holiday gifting and try to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings.

Key Takeaways for Ecommerce Coffee Retailers

This data offers invaluable insights for ecommerce coffee retailers. First, the influence of Prime Day over consumer demand for all coffee products cannot be underestimated. Particularly, products that have a higher price point should be made available to consumers who are searching for such goods in higher volume during Prime Day than at any other time of the year.

Along with Prime Day, ecommerce coffee brands should take note of how other holidays and weather change directly impact consumer demand. Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and weather patterns all impact when certain products are in highest demand. By understanding when these changes occur throughout the year, coffee retailers can better coordinate inventory, fulfillment, marketing, and customer service at these critical moments.

Want to use patterns like these to empower your brand throughout the year? Request a demo with Pattern to improve your ecommerce strategy today!

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