The United States cafés and bars market continues to be dominated by Starbucks Corp. The global coffee house chain controls around 18% of the value sales in the market, and a 45% market share among specialist coffee shops. The company is spit into two separate brands, the world known Starbucks, and the more regional Seattle's Best Coffee. Despite the market becoming more competitive and difficult due to the recession, Starbucks Corp has managed to gain market share in the last few years.
2011 saw a setback for Starbucks Corp and brand Seattle's Best Coffee, when the bankruptcy of Borders bookstore meant that 475 outlets had to be closed. Despite this the company still has high hopes that the brand has future growth potential.
In an attempt to provide a unique selling point for their businesses against fast food competitors, many specialist coffee players adopted a greater degree of premium positioning. Starbucks, for example, has added a number of new blends to its line-up, such as the blonde roast launched in January 2012, and a number of high-end brewing techniques. These techniques, such as the pour-over technique, are more time-consuming for baristas and more expensive for businesses, but the idea of hand-brewed coffee appeals to the United States consumer who is looking for ways to indulge without having to pay over the odds.
In the coming years up to 2016, the cafés and bars sector is expected to see a rise in its CAGR to 1.7%. The growth is seen as a slight slow down on previous years, with the market witnessing growth of 1.8% between 2006 and 2011. The higher growth can be explained by the pre-recession year highs which are yet to be duplicated by the recovery years.
It is expected that as the United States economy improves in the coming years, many consumers will revert to previous spending levels, but some will keep their frugal ways. This will ensure that, for a large part of the population, the premium coffee experience will still be a luxury treat, rather than a daily habit.
For more information on the United States cafes and bars market, see the latest research: United States Cafes and Bars Market
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