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US Grocery Coffee Sales Drop

As coffee prices continue to increase at U.S. grocery stores, product sales fell below pre-pandemic levels in the year ending September 2023, according to research from data insights firm NIQ, reports Reuters. The U.S. is the world’s largest coffee consumer.

At grocery, packaged coffee sales fell 3.7 percent compared to the year before, ending at 1.13 billion units. This is the third consecutive annual drop since 2019. On the other hand, coffee prices per unit in the year ending in September were up 9.3 percent which compounded the 12 percent rise seen in the previous 12-month period.

"What is going on in U.S. coffee at retail is what is going on in U.S. grocery in general," said Matthew Barry, insight manager of food and beverage at research company Euromonitor International. "Prices have been on the rise for a long time now and that is causing significant pressure on volumes because consumers are cutting back."

However, the data may ignore part of the story, suggests Jim Watson, executive director of beverage research at Rabobank, who notes that an ecommerce boom during and after the pandemic does not show up in traditional point-of-sale tracking. Subscription model usage for coffee, for example, is on the rise, and coffee pods are often purchased online. Full Story

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