The top 10 coffee brands in America show that U.S coffee drinkers still value price and convenience above all else. Ground coffee also continues to lengthen its lead over coffee made from whole beans, a trend that has intensified over the past decade due to the rapid rise in popularity of Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR)‘s coffee pods.
The U.S coffee market’s size reached an estimated $37 billion in sales in 2016, and that’s projected to grow to $46.2 billion by 2021. The sale of coffee pods continues to account for an ever increasing amount of the coffee market pie, though sales growth has slowed dramatically from just a few years ago. Coffee pod sales surged by over 80% in 2012, which fell to less than 10% in 2016 and is anticipated to slump to under 5% by 2021.
Despite the massive growth, the U.S still trails several other countries in terms of the percentage of its coffee consumption that comes from pods, checking in at just 9% last year according to Euromonitor. France stands at over 30%, with Spain at more than 20%. But it’s not just Europeans that like getting their coffee from pods more than Americans; Canadians also outpace them, with 15% of their coffee coming from pods. For an overall comparison of coffee consumption by country, check out our list of the 11 Countries That Consume the Most Coffee in the World.
Regardless, Americans love ground coffee, whether from pods or not. While sales of whole bean coffee has remained relatively flat since 2000, sales of ground coffee have surged by more than 150%. Despite that, Americans remain relatively laid back coffee drinkers, with per capita consumption hovering near 100-year lows at just 1.1 cups per day. That’s barely more than half the amount of coffee that the average American was gulping down in the 1950s.
While food trends are often impacted by changing knowledge about the health benefits or drawbacks of certain foods, coffee consumption appears to be floundering despite a growing body of research that suggests that not only is coffee not harmful, but that it may in fact be beneficial. And we’re not just talking about a cup a day either, but from drinking as much as 3-5 cups per day, which was only described as a “moderate” amount in a 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee study.
That study claimed that there are no long-term health risks from that level of consumption, while the benefits include decreased risks of developing cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. However, the report noted that coffee drinkers should be cognizant of the amount of cream/milk and sugar that is being added to their coffee. In other words, if you can only drink coffee after dumping 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar into it, you’re probably going to end up doing more harm than good.
Now then, let’s check out the list of the top 10 coffee brands in America, beginning on the next page. The list is based on 2014 U.S coffee sales data related to homebrew coffee beans and grounds, as compiled by Euromonitor, the most recent year for which the data is available.
- Gevalia – $140 Million
Gevalia, the longstanding coffee brand out of Sweden that is now owned by Kraft Heinz Foods Co (NYSE:HNZ), ranks tenth on the list with $140 million in U.S sales. In addition to bagged coffee, Gevalia also makes grounds specifically designed for Kraft Heinz Foods Co (NYSE:HNZ)’s Tassimo, as well as K-Cup Pods.
- Nespresso – $150 Million
Nespresso had U.S sales of $150 million, ranking it ninth on the list of the top 10 coffee brands in America. The Nespresso brand encompasses Nestle SA (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSRGY)‘s single serving coffee brewers as well as the capsules that they use to make hot or iced coffee, of which there are dozens.
- Peet’s Coffee – $170 Million
Peet’s Coffee & Tea ranks eighth with $170 million in U.S coffee sales. In addition to its physical coffee shops, the company also sells a wide range of whole bean and ground coffee for home brewing, including K-Cups. Founded in 1966, Peet’s Coffee & Tea prides itself on its responsible sourcing and spawned a cadre of “Peetniks”, who are loyal fans of the brand.
- Eight O’Clock – $210 Million
Eight O’Clock lands in seventh spot on our list with $210 million in sales. Its 100% Colombian coffee grounds were hailed as the best ground coffee in a 2009 Consumer Reports study, besting several more expensive and well-known brands. Eight O’Clock previously sold instant coffee at A&P locations (the brand was created by A&P nearly 150 years earlier) until that chain’s closing in 2015. Eight O’Clock is now owned by Tata Group.
- Nescafe – $310 Million
Nestle SA (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSRGY)’s cheaper, mainstream coffee brand, Nescafe, outranks its Nespresso brand, having pulled in $310 million in sales. One of the preeminent instant coffee brands in the world, Nestle downplayed the use of the Nescafe name in the U.S for several years, pushing the Taster’s Choice branding instead, before reintroducing it in 2003.
- Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) – $420 Million
One of the most popular coffee shops in the U.S, Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) also ranks fifth when it comes to the sale of home brewed coffee, with $420 million in sales. Dunkin sells a relatively small selection of packaged coffee and K-Cups, the former of which is mostly ground coffee. They also sell 48-packs of 2-ounce mini-bricks, which avoids the issue of coffee grounds and beans gradually losing their freshness by packaging grounds in small, individual packs.
- Maxwell House – $820 Million
Once the top selling brand of coffee grounds in America, Kraft Heinz Foods Co (NYSE:HNZ)’s Maxwell House ranks fourth on this list, with $820 million in sales, nearly double the sales of the fifth-ranked Dunkin Donuts. Maxwell House sells instant, ground, and whole bean coffee, as well as K-Cups and Tassimo T-Discs. One of its newest innovations is flavored instant coffee, including Suisse Mocha and French Vanilla flavors.
- Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) – $950 Million
With sales of $16.4 billion in its 2014 fiscal year, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)’s packaged coffee sales were just a drop in the bucket of its overall sales. Nonetheless, its $950 million in sales ranks the iconic coffee house third on this list. Starbucks primarily sells whole bean packaged coffee, with flavors spanning the gamut of some of its most cherished blends. Starbucks also sells a handful of ground coffee varieties as well as a large selection of Verismo Pods and K-Cups.
- Folgers – $1.56 Billion
Long the most popular coffee brand in America, Folgers has since fallen to a distant second. The brand, which has been owned by J M Smucker Co (NYSE:SJM) since 2008, did easily outpace Starbucks for second on this list however, with $1.56 billion in sales. Folgers offers a wide variety of flavors with its bagged coffee grounds, including mint, caramel and cinnamon. It also sells instant coffee, K-Cups, and a wide variety of blends in canister form.
- Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR) – $2.57 Billion
Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR) dominates our list of the top coffee brands in America, with $2.57 billion in sales, a full billion dollars clear of its nearest rival. It’s been a remarkable rise to the top for Keurig, which revolutionized home coffee brewing in 2004 with its single-cup home brewers. However, its more recent 2.0 model received a great deal of criticism for its “DRM” technology, which prevents unlicensed K-Cups from being used with it. The K-Cup pod system has also been criticized for its environmental impact, which has been addressed recently with recyclable pods. While Keurig’s growth has faltered, it still easily tops our list and is unlikely to relinquish it any time soon.
That wraps up our list of the top 10 coffee brands in America. Are you surprised by Americans’ tastes? Which home brew brand of coffee is your favorite? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comments.