Companies in this industry sell coffee drinks and other food and beverages for consumption on the premises or for takeout. Major companies include International Coffee & Tea (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), Peet's Coffee & Tea, and Starbucks (all based in the US), as well as Costa (part of hospitality firm Whitbread) and Caffè Nero (both based in the UK).
Consumer taste and personal income drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on the ability to secure prime locations, drive store traffic, and deliver high-quality products. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, finance, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialized products, serving a local market, or providing superior customer service.
Products, Ops & Technology
Beverages typically sold by coffee shops include brewed coffee and tea; espresso drinks (cappuccinos, café lattes); cold blended beverages; bottled water; soft drinks; and juices. Starbucks is experimenting with adding beer, wine, and small plates of food at some locations. Food includes pastries, bakery items, desserts, sandwiches, and candy. Many coffee shops sell whole or ground coffee beans for home consumption. Some coffee shops sell coffee or espresso-making equipment, grinders, mugs, and other accessories. Most coffee shops serve high-quality, premium coffee known as specialty coffee.