Win Back the Morning Coffee
Drive-Thru Habit

As part of an Explorer changing habits research study, we looked at the morning coffee Drive-Thru routine and how companies can win back consumers as they start to re-establish routines. The morning coffee Drive-Thru is a perfect example of a routine that many consumers abandoned as they started working from home.

Thinking back to the morning coffee Drive-Thru routine, when I was working full time at the office, my morning coffee was a treasured part of my routine. After dealing with the bustle of getting kids off to school I could reset for the day of work ahead.

So, while the morning coffee Drive-Thru declined with 46% of OOH coffee drinkers using pre-Covid we are now seeing 40% of OOH coffee drinkers using. For coffee Drive-Thru during other dayparts, 48% of OOH coffee drinkers used the Drive-Thru pre-Covid and today that is 38%. With the change in habits, the morning Drive-Thru does not play the same positive role it did prior to Covid with pre-Covid 42% of users saying it is a great way to start the day compared to 30% today.

But overall coffee consumption is on the rise with 50% of consumers drinking more coffee at home with ¾ of OOH coffee buyers purchasing a coffee store brand for at-home consumption. However, for those who do leave home, using the Drive-Thru is a great way to get out of the home.

As we move into reopening, the majority of OOH coffee drinkers are excited to re-establish this routine. With more consumers saying they will use the Drive-Thru more often than they did pre-Covid. So, with habits disrupted what do coffee brands need to do to win back consumers?

Our research showed the following strategies were most important:

  1. Daily deals – make it exciting for consumers to re-establish the Drive-Thru as part of their routine.
  2. Eye-catching menu boards – consider redesigning your menu board to make it easy to navigate and to provide a sense of discovery.
  3. Shorter wait times – queue management and speed are critical for the morning Drive-Thru.
  4. Incentives for heavy users – loyalty programs and other incentives are important as consumers begin to re-establish routines.

Contact us to find out more about our away from home coffee shopping report and to find out more about how to leverage shopper insights to grow your business.

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