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Coffee is often an essential part of people’s routines, and many pick up their morning coffee on their way to work. But, as working from home became essential during the pandemic and more and more employers have kept a remote or hybrid work policy, many consumers are choosing to make their own premium coffee.
“We are seeing consumers spending much more time brewing coffee at home than before the pandemic,” said Maurice Contreras, founder and president of Volcanica Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster that imports coffees from volcanic regions. “They are interested in learning more about different brewing methods and the regional flavor nuances of various coffees.”
The new techniques and products that customers have found are bound to stick because these consumers are continuing to seek out premium coffee drinking while at home, according to Michele Waits, vice president of marketing and commercial support for gourmet coffee company illycaffe North America.
“It’s one of the reasons at-home consumption will continue post-pandemic, and supporting this increase is a rise in coffee accessories and coffee culture content to allow coffee lovers to create and mimic on-premise experiences at home,” she said.
Recreating premium coffee
While the coffee shop experience is still desirable for many, people are finding that they can replicate these drinks at home with some extra knowledge and effort.
“In addition, it costs much less to drink coffee at home, said Contreras. “A premium cup of coffee at home costs less than $0.50 compared to $3 to $5 at a local coffee shop. With inflation rising we expect this to further add to the coffee at-home consumption trend.”
Illycaffe prides itself on being able to meet consumer desires in specific markets, especially with the cold brew and and ready-to-drink coffee varieties growing in popularity. The brand tested its own canned cold brew product before its official debut and “observed a significant advantage in taste with top box purchase intent above industry average,” said Waits.
Tapping into a niche market
Volcanica Coffee also closely monitors consumer feedback to track trends and develop coffee products that match customer preferences.
“For example, we noticed another new area is natural coffees that have a fruitier taste and have expanded our offerings in this area,” said Contreras. “Customer feedback is a gift that keeps giving.”
A specific concern that caught Volcanica’s attention was the eagerness for a low-acid coffee offering. The brand has produced a blend that is still naturally grown with a higher pH level, allowing Volcanica to enter the niche category.
“The feedback has been tremendous as we regularly receive reviews and comments that we solved customers’ acid reflux and related ailments and that they can now return to enjoying coffee,” Contreras reported.
As companies like Volcanica and illycaffe continue to address consumer interests via feedback-based product development, the boom of at-home coffee consumption is likely to endure.
“Consumers are becoming educated and developing a level of coffee connoisseurship, similar to that of wine, craft beer and other premium food products,” Waits said.
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