Coffee Brands Wake Up to Home Brew

More consumers are making coffee at home, leading Starbucks and Dunkin’ to refocus on e-commerce.

July 29, 2020

SEATTLE—Coffee brands like Dunkin’ and Starbucks are turning their attention to e-commerce and at-home packaging as more consumers brew coffee at home, Ad Week reports. Starbucks and Dunkin’ have seen sales at their shops nosedive, but sales for at-home coffee products have soared.

From March to June, U.S. retail sales of packaged coffee jumped 17.9%, compared with the same period in 2019, according to Nielsen. With the pandemic roaring on, coffee brands have adjusted their strategies to meet the growing need for at-home brewing.

For example, J.M. Smucker Co., which sells the Dunkin’ coffee home line, has put more dollars into marketing e-commerce and click-and-collect channels to capture customers ordering groceries online. Overall, Smucker’s U.S. coffee sales, which include Café Bustelo and Folgers as well as Dunkin’, climbed 11% for the quarter ended April 30.

Meanwhile, Starbucks has been ramping up its Coffee at Home webpage with recipes, updates and product links. The company has added new content, including dalgona coffee instructions. Monthly traffic skyrocketed 45% in March, compared with January and February, with traffic continuing to be elevated.

Peet’s Coffee has been promoting its packaged products on social media with the hashtag #AtHomeWithPeets. The company also put up a tutorial web series of how-tos for cold brew and pour-over coffee.

Even when the pandemic finally winds down, the at-home coffee trend should continue because many businesses will continue to allow employees to work-from-home on a full-time or part-time basis, according to Caleb Bryant, associate director of food and drink at Mintel. “The short-, medium- and long-term implications of the pandemic all directly or indirectly benefit at-home coffee,” he said.

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