So who is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to coffee? Well, Starbucks of course. But did you know that Starbucks is in the process of closing 600 locations? So where is the state of the coffee industry? According to the SCAA Quarterly Sector Report, the 3rd Quarter of 2009 saw an increase in coffee house sales of 3.2%, 4th Quarter sales increase of 3.5% and 1st Quarter of 2010 with an increase in sales of 4.2%. SCAA "predicts 2010 coffee sale trends are expected to show noticeable improvements to 2009 results. Consumers have continued to visit the coffeehouse, even if their spending patterns there have changed with the economic times." Many people have changed from paying $3.50 for a latte everyday to buying whole beans and brewing their coffee at home. And coffeehouses are investing in new equipment again, a sign that consumer use is on the rise.
So what other changes are occurring in the coffee industry? Well, Starbucks which is based in Seattle, has recently opened a Starbucks but not called Starbucks on Capital Hill in Seattle. The location is called 15th AVE, COFFEE& TEA. Why? To give the feel of an independently operated neighborhood cafe. I can see the benefit in metropolitan communities like Capital Hill and the Hawthorne District in Portland; independent communities characterized by originality and proud of being unconventional.
Any other changes in the coffee world? How about independent houses offering a variety of coffees from multiple roasters and beans. However the jury is out to see if the multiple suppliers will have an adverse impact on the profitability of the small shop. And Starbucksis beginning to offer pour-over brewing, much like the independent operators.
So who's on the move? Portland's Stumptown Coffee just went big time, having opened in Ace Hotel on Broadway in Manhattan and McDonald's is offering Wi-Fi at 11,500 locations where they serve its MCCAFE line of espresso.
Blackrock Coffee based out of Southern Oregon is one of the up and coming providers with locations springing up througout the NW. This drive-thru is located in Vancouver, Washington on Mill Plain Boulevard. They serve a great latte and have an eye catching presence with their bold black and red design.