The Impact of Covid-19 On The Coffee Industry: What We’ve Learnt One Year On

Just over a year on from the announcement of the first lockdown, the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) has published a survey exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the industry, which has highlighted the most important factors facing the industry and confidence levels in the market over the next year.

The Community Impact of COVID-19 survey tells us there is a notable decrease in the number of respondents selecting “likely to go out of business” when asked, compared to the March survey, potentially signifying that the majority of specialty coffee respondents see this as a survivable time.

Source: SCAThe Community Impact of COVID-19

One key trend is a strong focus on worker safety, customer safety, and sanitary practices in light of COVID-19. Respondents mentioned the implementation of safety and health procedures more than any other tool as a key competency during reopening. 80% of respondents mentioned new cleaning and sanitation procedures being implemented.

Source: SCA, The Community Impact of COVID-19

Another major takeaway is an emphasis on communications and marketing. 90% of respondents to the survey either never closed or have reopened at closing at one point, and many respondents see marketing as a way to communicate their ready-for-business status to their community.

According to the Harvard Business Review, brands that invest in marketing and advertising when coming out of a downturn can increase market share at a lower cost than during good economic times.

Source: SCA, The Community Impact of COVID-19

As shown in the graph above, revenue expectations continue to get more positive as time goes on, signifying an increasing confidence in the market as we come out of the third lockdown. So, overall a cautiously optimistic outlook for the coffee industry.

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