World Coffee Portal’s Project Café USA 2023 report reveals a market trend towards increased digitisation and convenience in US coffee shops, with pre-ordering and delivery key preferences for consumers across the country
Over the last 12 months, 47% of US consumers surveyed had pre-ordered a beverage to collect | Photo credit: Caleb George
The adoption of contactless and app-based payment technology across the US branded coffee shop market in response to the pandemic has endured in the year since restrictions were eased, signifying a market trend towards increased digitisation and convenience.
Industry leaders surveyed in World Coffee Portal’s Project Café USA 2023 report have noticed growing demand for pre-ordering as customers seek shorter wait times and operators work to balance speed without compromising on quality.
Over the last 12 months, 47% of consumers surveyed had pre-ordered a beverage to collect and 29% had ordered for delivery.
Meanwhile, a third of customers surveyed are in favour of a coffee subscription rather than paying per beverage in-store; however, few coffee chains have yet to introduce the proposition.
JAB Holdings, which controls several prominent US coffee and food-to go chains, is capitalising on emerging opportunities for e-commerce and at-home coffee.
In April 2021, its food-to-go and coffee chain Panera Bread revealed that more than half of its $2bn sales had come from e-commerce channels.
The Missouri-based company is investing in the convenience of digital channels, opening three ‘Panera To Go’ format stores this year. For in-store customers, Panera has also introduced a new contactless dine in app feature and is exploring the benefits of AI-enhanced drive-thru operations
to reduce service times and increase order accuracy.
Consumer preference for drive-thru has slowed following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions but remains strong – 54% of consumers indicated a preference for the format in 2022 – down from 63% in 2020.
Several drive-thru coffee chains have achieved success in the last 12 months. Oregon-based Dutch Bros
, which operates 600 stores in the US, exceeded $1bn sales for the 12 months ended 30 June 2022. Meanwhile Nebraska-based Scooter’s Coffee
is also approaching 600 stores and has outlined ambitions to become the leading drive-thru coffee franchise in the US.
World Coffee Portal’s Project Café USA 2023 report reveals that the $45.8bn branded US coffee shop market has now regained 96% of its pre-pandemic value.
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