Melitta research - case studies

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Coffee Preferences: Canada

Canadians love coffee. In a recent study published by telegraph, Canada is ranked number 10 of the top 20 countries that drink more coffee per capita in the world, surpassing both the UK and the US. Majority of the population prefer traditional coffee although specialty coffee is becoming more popular over the years. In regard to sustainability, Canadian consumers value the environment and as a result would wish to have recyclable coffee pods.


  • Adults aged between 18 and 79 are the major consumers of coffee in Canada. A study showed that among the coffee drinkers, men are the highest consumers with a daily average of 3 cups as women only consume 2.4 cups per day.
  • Canadians mainly consume coffee at home, and breakfast is the meal that consumers enjoy a cup of coffee the most. In regard to out-of-home consumed coffee, majority of Canadian consumers prefer to drink coffee at work or at the eating place where they make the purchase.


  • Canadians prefer traditional coffee. A study by the NPD Group, Inc. revealed that whenever Canadians purchase out-of-home coffee, they are most likely (76% of servings) to consider a cup of traditional hot brewed drink compared to specialty coffee (14% of servings) and iced specialty coffee (10% of servings).
  • However, the NPD CREST foodservice market research noted that the craving for coffee by Canadian consumers is beginning to be more adventurous when it comes to purchases. Since 2012, the demand for hot brewed coffee has declined with a rate of 1% while specialty coffee and iced specialty coffee servings have witnessed a surge of 4% and 10% respectively.
  • The 2018 Square Canada Coffee report revealed that latte is the most loved coffee brand by Canadian consumers, followed by Americanos and drip coffees. In regard to the regional scope, Manitoba is the area with the most affordable latte sold at $3.7 on average, while Alberta sells the same coffee at $5.43 on average.
  • More Canadian consumers are also purchasing cold brew chills iced coffee. By the summer of 2018, the orders of cold coffee brew began to outpace ice coffee by about 85%. Additionally, non-dairy milks have become popular in coffee shops across the country.


  • Twentify conducted a recent survey on how Canadians make their coffee in reference to the appliances they use. The survey revealed that Keurig Brewer remains the leading brand in the personal brewer’s category with 25% of the respondents admitting to preferring the product.
  • The NPD Group, Inc. also noted that Canadians prefer single-serve coffee pod machines like the K-Cup brewing system. Currently, up to 40% of coffee consumers have pod machines in their homes.
  • Another go-to choice for the consumers is the drip coffee maker which is preferred by 25% of the respondents. Because of its automatic brewing, consumers consider it the best appliance to fix coffee at home.



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Brick And Mortar Transition To Online Selling: Case Studies

After conducting extensive research, we were unable to provide case studies of small and medium-sized coffee companies from Canada that are operating a brick and mortar store or facility, and have shifted to online or e-commerce selling. This result could be due to a lack of huge success from such brands, that would make an impact on the coffee industry. However, we provided two case studies from Blue Bottle Coffee Company and Necco Coffee's 11th Street Coffee, as coffee companies that successfully transitioned to online selling in the US.

Blue Bottle Coffee

  • To bring the level of coffee connoisseurship to customers in the online retail space Blue Bottle Coffee needed to educate their audience through content marketing by creating in-depth brewing guides, educational videos, and courses on buying, storing, and brewing great coffee.
  • The company's push for freshness helped shape their approach to the e-commerce industry.
  • To kick-start their expansion online, Blue Bottle Coffee raised $20 million and followed up with another $25 million in 2014, and $72 million in 2015.

11th Street Coffee (Necco Coffee)

  • 11th Street Coffee, the Necco Coffee's internet division headed by Anthony Jnr., the founder’s son, is leading their online retail growth with products and sales channels which are growing by 25%.
  • 11th Street e-commerce started off small and then they embraced new technology; software that would take their online orders and accurately print out shipping labels and packing slips.
  • The company evaluated several software platforms and finally partnered with Pulse Commerce, which helped with their transition to the next phase of growth, re-platforming their e-commerce and back-office technology.
  • 11th Street Coffee offers its customers ‘subscribe and save’ a coffee ordering subscriptions online.
  • The company also sets up new promotions and coupons on social media and they also create insightful reports with detailed breakdowns.

Keurig Canada

  • Keurig Canada’s Eileen Chen's role in the company's e-commerce is making sure that every single web page is optimized without bugs by coordinating with IT to ensure everything is perfectly organized.
  • She also initiated a project which focuses on group discussions to better understand their customers’ pain points on their website.

Research Strategy:

As a strategy to provide case studies of coffee brands' brick and mortar transition to online selling, your research team searched directly through websites based on the coffee industry, as well as credible web domains that offer news articles and trends about the industry. However, the team only found general statistics about the large/well-established companies in the coffee industry. Also, the team could not garner any information regarding small or medium-sized brick and mortar stores that recently converted to online setups.
Next, your research team searched for a pre-compiled list of Canada's best small or medium-sized coffee shops and came up with on from Big Seven Travel. However, after researching them individually, the team did not find any facts to show that they had transitioned to online selling.
Furthermore, the team looked for startups or newly registered coffee shops and brands on Shopify, WooCommerce, and other e-commerce platforms. However, the team only found coffee brands that have recently opened online and are selling only their products online without a BAM (Brick and Mortar) store or facility. This result was thus irrelevant to the request.
Finally, the team extended the research criteria to coffee brands in the United States and located three, presented in the key findings section. The identified companies are, however, owned by larger companies.

From Part 02
  • "Ecommerce started off small, piggybacking off the telephone order business. A modest number of orders would come in and go into the queue with the telephone orders scheduled for mail delivery."
  • "So 11th Street embraced new technology; software that would take their online orders and accurately print out shipping labels and packing slips."
  • "11th Street Coffee sets up new promotions and coupons, and distributes them on social media instantly. 11th Street Coffee creates insightful reports with detailed breakdowns. They easily benchmark their operations and continuously improve using the platform’s built-in tools."
  • "That relentless push for freshness helped shape the company’s later approach to eCommerce and is a big part of why they’ve become a giant in the industry."
  • "The company raised $20 million to kick-start their expansion online and into new markets and followed up with another $25 million in 2014 and $72 million in 2015."