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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Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)
Aug 30, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/24/amazon-is-shutting-down-amazon-care-telehealth-service.html) Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/24/peloton-strikes-deal-to-sell-fitness-equipment-on-amazon/) --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve](https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/08/25/around-60-malaysians-are-buying-from-local-sellers-on-shopee/) Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard](https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-s-social-commerce-platform-shopsy-hits-100-million-users-1220828006851.html) Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts](https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2022/meta-joins-amazon-walmart-indian-ecommerce-market/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-spain-was-worth-e57-7-billion-in-2021/)
Aug 23, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)