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Consumers’ Home, Work and Travel Coffee Trends Outlined in Melitta Report

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A recent survey of U.S. coffee drinkers commissioned by Melitta found increased consumption of brewed coffee at home along with a desire among consumers to improve their coffee brewing skills.

Conducted by the independent market research firm Dynata on behalf of the coffee filter and brewing equipment company, the survey results suggest there may be abundant opportunities for both roasters and equipment manufacturers as drinking habits have changed during the COVID-19 era.

In many ways, the Melitta study views the flip side of a coin that has shown decreased traffic and sales at coffee retail establishments, as exemplified in the May report from Square and the Specialty Coffee Association.

Among the 515 adult coffee-drinking respondents in the Melitta study, a remarkable 45% said they were using a new coffee brewing method at home compared to 2019. Leading those methods were single-serve pod makers (22%) and automatic drip coffee makers (20%). While those methods underscore an enduring American desire for convenience above all else, nearly half the respondents (46%) indicated a desire to improve their home brewing skills.

As for where those brewed coffees are coming from, 21% of respondents said they were buying more coffee online compared to last year.

While a majority of respondents said coffee is an important part of their work routine when away from home, 54% of workers said they were at least somewhat apprehensive about communal coffee options at the workplace. Interestingly, this led to 45% of working people saying that they plan to bring their own coffee or coffee-brewing gear to work.

In one of the survey’s oddest findings, 41% of people planning to lug their own coffee equipment while traveling in 2020 said they plan to bring drip coffee machines as opposed to lighter and often less bulky manual brewing options. Approximately 16% of people with travel plans intend to bring their own coffee equipment.

Although there’s no clear comparative data, a bright spot for coffee retail establishments may be among travelers, with 69% of respondents with travel plans saying they intend to visit coffee shops while on the road.