Companies and Brands

US Coffee Store Number Tops 40,000

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Demand for coffee outside the home has been hot enough to drive the number of U.S.-branded coffee shops in America above 40,000. The market value of the companies that own these brands has almost reached $50 billion. According to the World Coffee Portal, these figures are above pre-pandemic levels on average. Its experts expect that figure to top 45,000 by September 2028.

The figure would not be anywhere close to 40,000 if it were not for Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX). It has 16,000 U.S. locations, followed by Dunkin’ at just over 9,400.

The store count could rise even more than forecast. COVID-19 hit the industry hard. Project Café USA 2024, World Coffee Portal’s new study, reports, “amid surging industry optimism nearly one-fifth of operators have yet to fully recover from pandemic trading pressures.” The other is the tremendous size of the American coffee market. According to the National Institutes of Health, 174 million people over 20 in the United States drink coffee daily. Other research shows coffee consumption statistics that are even larger than that.

Starbucks paved the road to 40,000 branded coffee shops. The company opened its first store in 1971. Growth was slow at first. Starbucks had only 165 stores when it went public in 1992. Even with over 16,000 stores in America, same-store sales rose 8% in the most recent quarter, a sign that there is enough demand for Starbucks to grow in its home market.

Another reason for the industry to be optimistic about sales prospects is customers’ time in coffee shops. According to the World Coffee Portal, over the past 12 months, 46% of people who went to a location stayed up to 30 minutes.

Finally, if coffee chains can drag drinkers out of their homes, sales could rise more rapidly. Nearly 80% of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee at home.

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