Sales of coffee experienced significant growth in the first quarter of 2020 as consumers engaged in panic buying in the early months of the pandemic. For instance, industry players such as Changsha Saturnbird Coffee Co Ltd experienced strong growth in off-trade sales, with the month of February recording a doubling of sales in comparison to pre-pandemic levels.
Leading Italian coffee brand, Lavazza SpA, Luigi is cooperating with leading consumer foodservice brand, Yum! Restaurants China Co Ltd, to further explore the coffee market in China. During January 2020, Lavazza opened its first flagship store in Asia in Shanghai, along with its official WeChat account called, Lavazza Official Coffee Shop.
Leading bottled water brand, Nongfu Spring Co Ltd, launched its first hanging ear drip coffee products in March 2020, under the same name as its RTD coffee, Tan Bing. This was designed to help it enter the premium end of the coffee category.
The spikes seen in coffee sales in 2020 are expected to return to normal rates for the remainder of the forecast period as consumers start spending more time outside their homes once the pandemic recedes. Consumer foodservice operations are set to resume with consumers likely to switch to consumer foodservice coffee for its fresher taste.
Several industry players experienced strong growth in coffee during the pandemic, with the highest growth seen in speciality instant coffee with this trend set to continue into the forecast period. For Tmall, the robust growth can be attributed to its freeze-drying process in the production of instant coffee.
Currently the fresh ground coffee pods category is characterised by Nestlé with two brands, Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Nespresso. Starting from 2019, chained specialist coffee shop brand, Starbucks, in conjunction with Nestlé launched new coffee pods in China.
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