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Tchibo sets its sights on the US at-home coffee market

German coffee giant sees potential among premium home coffee consumers in the US, further highlighting the growing importance of retail packaged coffee as coronavirus continues to disrupt out-of-home channels

A Tchibo store in Darmstadt, Germany



Tchibo, one of Europe’s biggest coffee companies, has announced plans to start selling roast and ground and whole bean coffee in the US. The products will distributed by Rainmaker Food Solutions at retailers across the mid-western states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin, in the coming months.
 
Speaking to Bloomberg, Tchibo CEO Thomas Linemayr said he wanted to establish his brand as a “quality leader” in the US. “We will cater toward more affluent, younger consumers and coffee connoisseurs,” he added.
 
Achieving annual revenues of nearly $4bn, Tchibo also operates around 1,000 cafés in Europe. Its ambitions in the US will pit it against Italian coffee giant, Illy Group, which has also sought to expand into the US retail coffee market during 2020.
 
Sales of retail packaged coffee have soared worldwide amid the temporary closure of offices and hospitality businesses due to coronavirus, with coffee consumption more frequently confined to the home.
 
Retail packaged coffee giants, such as NestléKeurig Dr Pepper and JDE Peet's, have all subsequently reported strong sales during 2020. In August, online specialty coffee retailer, Trade, received further backing from German conglomerate JAB Holdings to expand its US operation.
 
A premium at-home coffee offer in the US could prove lucrative for Tchibo. US Industry leaders surveyed in World Coffee Portal’s Project Café USA 2020 report identified specialty coffee as the most important trend among US consumers currently. This is reflected in the success of traditionally value focused coffee chains, such as Dunkin’, benefitting from enhanced espresso, cold brew and premium food menus, in recent months.

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