A new publication by the World Coffee Portal – The Coffee at Home Report UK 2023 – captures how big an opportunity the at-home coffee market has become for retailers
Following the boom in public interest in brewing specialty coffee at home during the pandemic, sales of coffee, equipment and machines for domestic use have continued to grow. Purchases of coffee pod, espresso and filter machines are all on the up. The latter is the cheapest point of entry for consumers, but there’s good demand for more expensive equipment because people want to up their home-brew game.
Over the last year, the market value of the at-home coffee machine industry rose 3.5 per cent to reach £162.8m. This is a huge leap from 2019’s figures, which stood at £123.2m. The report also found that the average household spends £6.70 on coffee at home per week; 81 per cent of UK consumers surveyed have at least one cup of coffee at home every day; while 57 per cent have two or more cups at home each day.
While this proven fascination with at-home coffee might seem like a threat to specialty coffee shops, it’s actually a huge opportunity. This is something that Maria Rivera, head barista of Foundation Coffee House in Manchester, has seen first hand. "At Foundation, we stock a wide selection of home-brewing products, including drippers and kettles for immersion brewing, such as Chemex and V60, and percolation brewing products such as moka pots. I think the most popular products we sell are those for making immersion coffees. After the third wave we went through in the industry, more people became interested in getting into this brewing type.”
It takes clever thinking and planning to get the offering right. “It’s essential to know what types of customers you have in your coffee shop and what kind of coffee they are used to drinking, so that you can make better stock decisions and avoid products that won’t sell”, says Maria. “That’s why it is essential for us to have a team of baristas who can guide customers; they offer free knowledge based on experience, give demonstrations in-person and share advice on finding freely accessible resources. As well as helping us to sell these products, we see an increase in the sales of retail bags of coffee; our customers go on to purchase coffees from our selection that best align with the brewing products.”
According to Maria, one of the best ways to capture customer interest in at-home brewing is to offer immersive, face-to-face courses on how to make a good cup of coffee at home, according to Maria. In this way, you build trust with your customers, gain credibility as a business, and, if attendees enjoy themselves, you might see word of mouth and recommendations coming through. She also believes that the move towards specialist home brewing methods can teach us about the coffee industry more generally.
Using home-brew trends to boost retail sales – QUICK TIPS
- Have a variety of coffee to suit different tastes
- Keep iterating product range according to customers’ purchasing trends
- Offer to grind retail bags of beans to suit customers’ home brewing method
- Provide your staff with the knowledge to offer great equipment recommendations to customers
- Run after-work public events so people can learn about and watch home brewing demos first hand