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Local company's packaged coffee sales skyrocket as consumers brew at home

Posted at 6:45 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:45:52-05

LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (NBC26) -- Just because some people are working remotely during the pandemic doesn't mean they aren't drinking their fair share of coffee. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

"Honestly, we are fortunate and with Covid... that coffee at home has really expanded," Trilliant Food and Nutrition General Manager Carleton Johnson said.

Consumers are buying more coffee grounds to brew themselves at home. Packaged coffee producers locally, like Trilliant, are seeing an increase in sales.

"At-home coffee is a 16-billion-dollar category," Johnson said "And that's only growing at a ten-percent rate because of people… as we stay at home more and work from home more."

Even with the added success, coffee producers and distributors face challenges when stores close for the pandemic.

"We did have some ups and downs," Johnson said. "We did have some key customers who closed their businesses for a few months due to Covid. And so we lost some sales there but then we pick it up at other accounts."

But the coffee demand remains high. Back in March, Nielsen research found nearly a 25-percent increase in packaged coffee sales over a four-week period. Many consumers are skipping the trip to the coffee shop.

"So that plays right into retail sales going up and ready-to-drink sales going up as they move away from buying their Starbucks there or being at the office and getting your coffee there," Johnson said.

Those current trends benefit beverage companies like Trilliant that have fought to keep its workers employed during the pandemic.

"Yes, we need to be safe," Human Resources Vice President Grae Griffin said. "Yes, we need to meet our client demand so that we can continue to provide the security of really all our employees."

And Trilliant believes its success will outlive the pandemic.

"I think this is gonna be something that's here to stay," Griffin said. "Just like people are buying different houses, recognizing that they're gonna need office space in their house. People are going to continue to have buying patterns with coffee that will benefit our business."