US coffeehouse sales growth moderate in second quarter of year

Coffeehouses in the United States saw their sales grow from 8 – 9 per cent in the second quarter of 2012, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Coffeehouse Sales Trends Report, released in late August. This growth represented a slight slowing down compared to the first quarter of the year, which saw 10 – 11 per cent growth in coffeehouse sales. This represents to first drop in growth in the US after two consecutive quarters of acceleration. The SCAA report accredited this moderation of sales to a combination of a slower end-market and a more cautious consumer, as well as unseasonably hot weather late in the quarter. The reported noted many coffeehouses were promoting ice coffee and food to make up for less hot coffee demand.  These sales were nevertheless higher than industry expectations, with a net 38 per cent of coffeehouse operators still ahead of their plans for the first half of the year. Traffic remained the biggest driver of coffeehouse sales, according to the SCAA report. The report found that coffee inflation has generally decelerated in the last eight months. Cost increases were reported as moderating across most categories throughout the last three quarters. The SCAA noted that coffee prices have surprisingly held steady, considering the significant drop in green coffee prices over last year.  The SCAA noted that coffeehouse operators are continuing to see margin benefits from price increases and less inflation.   The SCAA report was prepared with independent research firm Cleveland Research Company, with information gathered from a sample of large coffeehouse chains, region chains, small chains and local independent shops from across the United States.  The full report is available to purchase from the SCAA store, visit

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