Office Coffee Trends in 2023 [Infographic]
Coffee during the workday is not just a perk, it’s a workplace necessity. Dating all the way back to the early 1900s, the “coffee break” was adopted by many American factories as a workplace ritual to improve productivity and nurture professional relationships.
The coffee industry has undergone a transformation over the last 100+ years. The standard office coffee service has evolved from a cup of sludge to a mix of delicious concoctions coming from cutting-edge corporate coffee machines or prepackaged cans or bottles. The days of instant coffee are behind us, and the coffee landscape is looking better than ever.
As companies push to get employees back into the office, your office coffee station is key to fostering an ideal employee experience. A recent study by Nespresso found that:
- 65% of employees expect high-quality office coffee.
- 73% of employees believe breaks throughout the day are important to their well-being.
- 77% of employees agree that coffee breaks are important.
- 64% of employees value coffee break conversations with their coworkers.
Crafty partners with 300+ offices globally to create collaborative spaces that provide all the necessary coffee station essentials while giving employees the opportunity to connect with their coworkers. Real-time consumption data found in Crafty’s centralized dashboard allow companies to get a deep understanding of product performance in these spaces at each office and companywide.
For the first time ever, Crafty is sharing this propriety data so you can make data-driven decisions when stocking your office coffee station. This data is pulled from units consumed across all Crafty clients globally, which gives you a taste of the type of insights available inside the Crafty technology suite.
Brace yourselves as we spill the beans on the office coffee trends of 2023:
Office Coffee Station Trends
The office coffee landscape is ever-changing as it’s tied to the office experience strategy of each company. 2022 had more in-office attendance than the years prior, but still many companies still had a good chunk of their workforce working remotely. In 2023, the news has been about the return-to-office strategy for many of the top US companies.
We wanted to explore what that meant in terms of F&B consumption, so the first place we looked was at the coffee data. Why, you ask? If you have more people coming into the office due to return-to-office mandates, what’s the first thing they are going to have in the morning? Coffee.
Overall Crafty clients are spending 89.8% more on office coffee products in 2023 than they did in 2022. This increase is shown across the board in all subcategories of coffee, from beans, to individual pods, to coffee cans, and more.
Before we dive into the best-selling products across all Crafty clients, we rounded up a few highlights across the 300+ office stations that Crafty services:
- 89.8% increase in total spend in the coffee category YoY
- 1.7x more coffee-related units purchased in 2023
- 5 out of 10 Crafty clients prefer dark roast coffee
- Alternative milk is becoming a staple in office kitchens:
- Oat milk was purchased 159% more compared to last year
- Almond milk saw an 89% increase in units sold compared to last year
- Below you’ll find the top office coffee brands based on units sold:
- La Colombe
- Rise Brewing Co.
Best Corporate Coffee Machines
At the heart of every office coffee station is the coffee machine. If you’re looking to drive employees back into the office, you need a machine that provides better coffee on par with what they could make at home or get in a coffee shop. If employees have to go elsewhere for their morning coffee, that’s an expense that can quickly add up.
Crafty coffee connoisseurs guide clients through figuring out which office coffee machine is ideal for their setup based on employee preference, structural requirements, and budget. Most companies choose from these two types of coffee machines:
- Automatic Bean-to-cup Espresso Machine: A coffee machine that makes single-serve espresso and coffee with a push of a button, from grinding the beans to brewing and flavoring.
- Drip Coffee Machine: A coffee machine drips coffee in large quantities by pouring water over coffee grounds in a filter into a pot below.
The top corporate coffee machine in 2023 was the De Jong Duke Nio 20.3, a compact bean-to-cup espresso machine that has an add-on compartment for fresh milk. Employees can brew all their favorite espresso drinks, from a standard Americano to a frothy Cappuccino. To find out more, the Crafty team recently rounded up the top 6 office coffee machines in 2023, providing the high-level details needed to choose the perfect machine for your office.
- De Jong Duke Nio 20.3
- De Jong Duke Virtu
- WMF 1500S+ 2 Hopper Espresso
- Bunn-o-Matic Axiom, Single
- Bunn-o-Matic Infusion Single Tall
Top Coffee Beans For The Office
Choosing a coffee bean that pleases everyone in the office is no easy task. Everyone has a different taste preference along with caffeine requirements, and it’s easy to assume that medium to light roast is the safer bet. The Crafty data tells a different story.
Surprisingly, Peet's Dark Roast Blend is the #1 bean among Crafty clients. Following that blend, the other top coffee beans range from medium to dark, proving that making assumptions can lead to a lackluster program if you assume wrong. Crafty data shows that employees gravitate toward a darker roast to fuel their office coffee habits.
Crafty clients have the benefit of accessing their unique information inside the Crafty dashboard, enabling them to keep an eye on coffee preferences in real-time. The Crafty team monitors inventory on-site, and the technology suite automates the ordering process so clients only order what they need. This way, there isn’t a stockroom full of coffee no one likes.
Best Individually Packaged Coffee
It’s a joy to live in an era of individually packaged coffee. Skip the mess of portioning out coffee grounds, and enjoy a cup of perfection that is precisely measured every time. These types of individual coffee products are popular among offices that want to avoid coffee machines that take up lots of space but still prioritize taste.
There are two types of individually packaged coffee products:
- Frac Pack [Bulk Coffee]: Prepackaged ground coffee portioned to brew a 10-12 cup pot of coffee. Typically used with a corporate drip coffee maker.
- Pods [Single Serve]: Individually packaged coffee grounds portioned to brew a single cup of coffee. Typically used with a corporate Nespresso or K-Cup coffee maker.
Similar to the coffee beans, Crafty clients prefer the medium to dark roast in this area as well. The top product in this category is Philz Jacob’s Wonderbar which is a full-bodied roast for drip coffee makers with notes of chocolate and nuts. Other top products in this category are darker roasts for the Nespresso machines and a medium roast for individual pod coffee brewers.
Top Cold Brew Kegs
Crafty started the keg revolution in 2015 by supplying beer kegs to offices to foster more fun. It only made sense that as the company grew, so did the keg offerings adding on cold brew coffee, kombucha, and other keg favorites.
According to a OnePoll study, 47% of office workers prefer iced coffee when they get to work, and over 77% said it takes more than two cups of coffee to feel very productive at work. Fueling caffeine habits like that makes cold brew kegs a cost-effective option, where the price averages around $1/cup.
It’s clear that Nitro Cold Brew reigns supreme taking up three of the top five cold brew favorites among Crafty clients. There are some major differences between Nitro Cold Brew vs. Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee, but in short, Nitrogen gas infused into the coffee creates small bubbles making the coffee feel creamier and taste sweeter.
Best Canned Coffee
The new kid on the block that is taking over the coffeeverse is ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee. According to NeilsonIQ, canned coffee is the fastest growing category in beverage bringing in over $3.4 billion in 2021, and is trending to outpace the energy category.
Among Crafty clients, RTD coffee is also becoming more popular, being stocked 3x more than individually packaged coffee. These canned coffee options give employees the office coffee shop experience without adding any extra hands. Employees can simply grab their preferred drink from the fridge and skip experimenting with the coffee machine altogether.
It’s clear from the numbers that the two brands, Crafty clients gravitate toward are Rise Brewing Co. and La Colombe. The Nitro Cold Brew from Rise Brewing Co. snags the top spot among the 300+ offices globally that Crafty services. That said, it can’t go without mentioning that the team at Crafty runs on an IV of La Colombe Tripple Draft Latte.
Milk For Your Office Coffee Station
Torn on what type of milk to offer for your office coffee service? You’re not alone. Many companies struggle to identify which type of milk to provide their team with growing dairy sensitivities.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dairy consumption is at an all-time low with many Americans switching to dairy-free alternatives. Crafty data is showing a similar story with dairy-free milk varieties taking up two of the top three spots. Oatly Oat Milk was the number one ordered milk across the Crafty client base.
That said, whole milk still isn’t out of the game. Prairie Farms Whole Milk was only 10+ units away from earning the top spot in the milk category. The major trend among Crafty clients is that companies are ordering plant-based milk or going full steam ahead with whole milk. The days of skim or 2% milk are coming to an end.
Office Coffee Creamers
When it comes to coffee consumption overall, a recent Dive Research study found that 48% of coffee drinkers prefer coffee creamers such as Coffee-Mate or International Delight. However, Crafty data paints a different picture when looking at office coffee creamer habits.
Overall, companies invested more in standard milk options, buying double the amount of milk units versus coffee creamer units. Of the creamers that were ordered by Crafty clients, half & half varieties were ordered 2x to 3x more than other creamer types in the category.
Land O’Lakes Half & Half was the most ordered creamer among Crafty clients in 2023, with Organic Valley Half & Half coming in a close second. Taking the third spot is Coffee-Mate’s French Vanilla creamer with their original and hazelnut options rounding out the top 5 in this category.
Although creamers may be an accessible option to create popular coffee flavors at home, the popularity of bean-to-cup espresso makers may be the reason for this dip. These cutting-edge corporate coffee makers have powered flavorings built-in to add additional flavorings which is why companies may not invest as heavily in flavored coffee creamers.
Another category ripe for growth is coffee syrups. According to recent forecasts, the coffee syrup segment is expected to increase by $2 billion dollars by 2029. This is due to the rise in consumer demand to recreate their coffee-shop favorites in any environment and the increasing demand for syrups to accommodate health preferences.
Crafty HQ added a syrup bar right next to the cold brew keg to elevate its office coffee service. This creates an office coffee shop culture where employees can collaborate casually which is shown to increase employee productivity and morale.
Crafty clients have also embraced this trend by adding coffee syrups to their office coffee stations. The most popular brand among Crafty clients is Monin, with Vanilla Syrup ordered 3x more than all other flavorings. Some surprising flavors that landed in the top five were lavender and pistachio, which shows how creative coffee powered by Crafty can be. 🧑🎨
Is it even a coffee station without sweeteners? If you asked us a few years ago, the answer would be a hard no; but these days many employees are taking their coffee without the extra kick of sugar.
According to a recent study done in 2022, 38% of coffee drinkers prefer their coffee unsweetened. For those that do prefer their coffee a little sweet, they tend to go for natural sweaters versus table sugar due to a variety of health reasons. The natural sweetener is gaining more momentum and the market is stated to grow by $5 billion dollars by 2032.
Crafty data shows a similar trend with four of the top five being natural sweeteners. In The Raw Sugar landed the top sweetener spot in 2023 and allows Crafty clients to enjoy a touch of sweetness knowing that the sugar is minimally processed and retains some of the natural molasses and minerals found in sugarcane.
The office coffee landscape has evolved and continues to play a vital role in fostering workplace productivity and camaraderie. Companies across the globe are embracing cutting-edge coffee solutions that cater to their employees' diverse tastes, preferences, and sensitivities.
Real-time consumption data within the Crafty technology suite give enterprise companies the tools necessary to make data-driven decisions on stocking their office coffee stations. These insights both at individual locations and companywide allow workplace managers and leadership to forecast budgets and know that no product will go to waste.
Let's raise a mug for transforming the office coffee experience one brew at a time! ☕️