Coffee Shop Openings Are Slow But Coffee Sales Are booming

Fewer new coffee shops are being opened in the United States. Coffee industry watchers say they expect a tepid growth rate of new openings at just 2%. That’s a significant slow-down from double-digit growth just six years ago.

But wait – the news for coffee shops is still quite good. The marketing and research firm Mintel found an incredibly robust 41% growth rate of coffee purchases inside existing coffee shops between 2011 and 2017 – and they expect that white-hot pace to continue through 2018 and 2019.

Established coffee shops are cashing in. Mintel said they sold $23.4 billion in the dark brew in 2017 alone. That’s a lot of beans.

In the meantime, the fastest growing form of coffee sold it called RTD coffee – RTD stand for “Ready To Drink.” These are coffee forms that are pre-prepared, packaged and ready to go right off the shelf, such as those cold-brew bottles purchased in a convenience store.

Right now, RTD coffee commands 20% of U.S. market share, but Mintel predicts this will grow by 67% over the next five years. In fact, RTD coffee is the fastest growing beverage product of any kind in the U.S. Part of the reason for that has been tremendous innovation of flavors and kinds of coffee beverages offered. Consumers obviously love trying a “new thing” if that “thing” is a twist on coffee.

Finally, RTD coffee tends to be cheaper than brewed coffee purchased in-shop, such as at a Starbucks, mom-and-pop cafe or other seller.

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