COVID setbacks continue to hamper foodservice coffee recovery

Toronto, Canada, January 13, 2022 — Before COVID, Canadians shifted more coffee consumption to their homes, and the pandemic accelerated the shift. With Canadians being home more now, they drink 26% of the coffee they buy at foodservice outlets at home. And, to replicate the foodservice coffee experience at home, they are purchasing coffee appliances at unprecedented levels, reports The NPD Group. Over the last 12 months, over 3.5 million coffee and espresso preparation appliances were sold at retail in Canada. This number translates to one in three homes that have added a coffee appliance and extended over the length of the pandemic to date; it’s over 6.7 million units sold since March 2020, the start of the pandemic, according to NPD’s continual tracking of home industry sales.

“Given Canada’s love of coffee, it’s not surprising that we’ve invested our time and money in bringing a gourmet coffee experience into our homes,” says Pam Wood, home industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Even when we’re back to workplaces and schools, we’ll continue to get a return on our at-home gourmet coffee experience. Home products manufacturers can benefit from this opportunity by developing products that offer great taste, which is always key, the ability to adjust the taste, and versatility in enabling consumers to get that coffee house experience at home.”

Even with more coffee made at home, it’s not all doom and gloom for foodservice coffee, says Vince Sgabellone, foodservice industry analyst at The NPD Group. While the foodservice industry lost about 700 million servings of coffee during the first 12 months of the pandemic, nearly one-quarter of that was recaptured in the second through fourth quarters of 2021 as students returned to schools and more employees returned to workplaces. Coffee servings in the year ending November 2021 were up 2% from a year ago when servings declined by 24% and are down by 22% from the pre-pandemic level in the year ending November 2019.

“Before March 2020, coffee servings were already softening a bit for out-of-home; therefore, it’s unlikely that foodservice coffee will ever reach pre-pandemic levels again,” says Sgabellone. “It’s important for foodservice operators to understand that their customers are at home, and they need to figure out the best way to reach them. For example, despite all the disruption in the industry, drive-thru and delivery coffee orders have gone up. While delivery is still a tiny portion of foodservice coffee at this time, it has more than tripled since 2019.”

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