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In advance of the 26th Annual Specialty Coffee Association Expo, CHD Expert evaluates the current coffee landscape of the United States

The Coffee & Tea segment represents 4.2% of total U.S. restaurants and this segment has shown consistent net growth over the past four years.

(Chicago, IL – April 22, 2014) – With the 26th annual SCAA event taking place in Seattle this month, CHD Expert, the leading Chicago-based foodservice data and analytics firm has released the latest figures around the Coffee and Tea industry in the United States. Most American adults drink coffee every day, and coffee is one of the most important beverage segments in the foodservice industry. CHD Expert’s data shows that the Coffee and Tea industry is showing positive signs of growth, having achieved 0.9% in net growth between 2009 and 2013. This segment growth is consistent with the commercial foodservice market’s overall net growth of 2.6% in that same time period. Moreover, as one of America’s favorite drinks, it is no surprise that Coffee and Tea is the 8th most prevalent menu type among U.S. restaurants. With over 28,000 establishments, the Coffee and Tea segment represents 4% of the top 10 most popular menu types as seen in Figure 1 and 4.2% of the approximately 665,000 total U.S. restaurants.

Figure 1. Top 10 Menu Types

As with many other foodservice segments, the Coffee and Tea industry is heavily divided between independent operators and chains. In particular, most of the market is split between independent operators (1 to 9 units), which account for 40.7% of the market, and chains with more than 500 units, account for 52.4% of the total market as seen in Figure 2. Mid-range chains (those with 10 to 500 units) are much less prevalent, constituting only 6.9% of the market.

Figure 2. Independents vs. Chains

Geographically, CHD Expert finds that the states of California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida and Washington dominate in terms of number of establishments. Approximately 39% of the nation’s total coffee establishments reside in those 5 states.

When focusing only on the chain operators within the industry, Illinois replaces Washington in the lineup as the fifth state with the most number of units. Under this scenario, the top five coffee chain states represent 43% of the national Coffee and Tea market, which can be seen in the map that’s part of Figure 3. Unsurprisingly, Starbucks is the chain with the most number of units, followed by Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, Caribou Coffee, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Figure 3. Map of Top Coffee and Tea Chains

Starbucks is the only chain that boasts at least one store with over $5 million in annual sales, and 6 locations with more than $2.5 million in annual sales. Can you guess what location does more than $5 Million in annual sales?

As the “coffee capital” and founding city of the largest industry chain, Seattle is an important figure in the U.S. Coffee and Tea landscape. With a booming coffee culture – from coffee roasting to supply chain management – Seattle consumes its fair share of coffee. To no surprise, Starbucks leads the way among chain establishments, but the overall Coffee and Tea landscape in Seattle is dominated by independent operators. Of the 280 total Seattle coffee establishments in the CHD FIND Database, independent coffee and tea houses represent 58% of the overall market.

Globally, Coffee and Tea are some of the most universally consumed food products, and an important part of American culture,” said Brad Bloom, Director of Sales at CHD Expert North America. “For many Americans, getting a cup of coffee is one of the first things to do in the morning, and this has led to a robust product mix, with consistently high demand. At CHD Expert, we have our pulse on the coffee industry and it is racing. If you are looking for insight on Coffee, make sure you get in touch, we’d love to share our data.


About CHD North America
CHD Expert is the worldwide leader in collecting, managing and analyzing data for the Away-from-Home Global Foodservice Market. For more than 10 years CHD Expert has been dedicated to support Foodservice channel members in providing a global vision and an in-depth understanding of the industry (in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific).

Our objective is to support food service providers in their sales and marketing strategies by providing the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice census, housing operator intelligence for more than 5 million operators worldwide. For additional information, please visit https://www.chd-expert.com or call 1-888-CHD-0154.