Vendors Can Help Employers Deliver Quality Brews to the 68% of At-​Work Coffee Drinkers Who Expect It


American businesses seeking to improve productivity should consider investing more in employer provided, higher-​quality coffee options, according to Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities, 3rd Edition, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts. While the average employee does not expect an employer to provide coffee that significantly outshines their usual coffee beverage purchased or made outside the office, they do expect their employer to deliver coffee and coffee drinks that can reasonably compete with it.

"Office coffee is a thriving industry that's expected to continue to see sales growth through 2021," says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. "Among the market's key growth factors is the increasing realization that companies need to provide higher-​quality coffee and related benefits as part of broader employee retention and loyalty strategies that ultimately help enhance employee productivity. Not only will great coffee keep employees onsite at work, but it could also provide extra incentive to get to the office in the first place."

Who is most likely buying coffee for the office? According to AudienceSCAN, 25.7% of office equipment/​furniture/​supply shoppers are between the ages of 25 and 34, but are also 55% more likely than other adults to be ages 17 to 24. They're also 77% more likely than other adults to be full-​time college or trade school students and 20.7% earn $24,999 or less in annual household income. Based on this information, it’s possible that office coffee service providers may find themselves dealing with student interns at their clients’ offices.

Packaged Facts research reveals that 68% of at-​work coffee drinkers usually drink coffee made or dispensed onsite at their workplace. This underscores the fundamental utility to having at-​work coffee options—employees do use them. Meanwhile, 51% usually drink coffee from outside of work (not home) and 46% bring it from home. Ultimately, the issue again is whether at-​work coffee options can be improved and/​or offered as a perk, making them more appealing to employees.

According to AudienceSCAN, 54.3% of office supply shoppers are willing to pay more for higher quality on most products and are 49% more likely than other adults to pay more for healthy or organic food products.

While employed coffee drinkers are more likely to be satisfied than dissatisfied with their workplace coffee options, they are not generally enthusiastic about them. Packaged Facts survey data found that given the importance they place on various coffee-​related attributes, employed coffee drinkers' satisfaction with those attributes falls short when applied to their workplace. For example:

  • Coffee drinkers responded they are heavily inclined to give both coffee quality and coffee flavor high importance. However, when asked if they are satisfied with these attributes at their workplace, the response was lukewarm.
  • Positive responses were likewise underwhelming in regards to employee satisfaction about the type of coffee roast (dark, light, etc.) and coffee selection/​variety that employers made available to them.

Office coffee service providers can use this information to their advantage. Providing high-​quality coffee that delivers on flavor via just two varieties that communicate clear distinctions that matter to the target audience could make most employees happy while keeping product assortment manageable. For example, offering a light roast and a dark roast leverages a longstanding and still important distinction that cuts across the spectrum of coffee drinkers. Integrating brand choice into this straightforward approach maintains control over product assortment while leveraging a brand's qualities to better meet a target audience's needs and expectations.

What's the best way to reach office supply shoppers? According to AudienceSCAN, 15.8% of these shoppers believe mailed ads and flyers are the best source to compare prices. Not only that, within the past year 63.7% of them took action after receiving ads and/​or coupons in the mail. They're also 29% more likely than other adults to read reviews about a product they're considering buying and 62.3% took action after seeing a sponsored search result within the past year. Search should be optimized too since this group is 25% less likely than other adults to go past the first page of search results.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.