July 22, 2022

Holiday Data Series: Winter Warm-Up

Marketers, it’s time to trade your iced coffee for a warm mug of joe while we serve up some piping hot holiday beverage data! In this holiday blog, we concentrate on the warm beverages that keep you cozy while Jack Frost is nipping at your nose…coffee and tea! 

For savvy brand strategists planning holiday campaigns, we’ve analyzed mobile grocery list data from the past several years to review seasonal trends and the popularity of brands and generic items in the coffee/tea beverage category. 

What are shoppers adding to their list as must-haves for keeping warm? Let’s check out the data!  

Coffee or Tea?

It’s no surprise that shorter days and colder weather months would bring on an increased desire for a beverage that is both warm AND caffeinated. Looking over the past year’s data pulled from shoppers’ mobile grocery lists comparing tea and coffee, we found that “coffee” was added to shopper’s lists in more significant volumes than “tea” each month. The generic term “coffee” waned in the summer, picking back up in October as temps cooled. However, demand for “tea” as a list item stayed relatively consistent throughout the year, with a slight decrease last June. 

List transactions, October 2020-May 2022, demonstrate shoppers' stable coffee preference over tea. 

Looking further into “coffee” as a list term over the past four years, we note that 2022 has seen an overall increase in shoppers adding java to their lists over the past year. The spike in the 2020 spring numbers looks like it tracked the onset of the Covid pandemic when many people were quarantining and stocking up on necessities during the uncertainty.

Year-over-year changes in “coffee” as a mobile grocery list term. 

Like coffee, tea also demonstrates an overall uptick as an item added to mobile lists in 2022. However, after a marked increase in add-to-list transactions in 2020, most likely mirroring coffee as a necessity to stock up on during the early pandemic months, tea has started to level off in demand in 2022. We have yet to see if it can follow last winter’s gains again. 

Year-over-year changes in “tea” as a mobile grocery list term. 

Coffee Brands

Coffee is a ritual for many people. Shoppers have strong allegiances to particular brands and regularly add branded names to their grocery lists to ensure they get the correct product (no matter who in the home is shopping!). 

Three coffee companies regularly appeared on shoppers’ mobile lists last year. Classic brands Chock Full ‘o Nuts and Eight O’Clock, as well as mainstay Starbucks all found favor on shoppers’ lists, with the latter regularly capturing the most appearances on lists.

List transactions, October 2020-May 2022, showcase Starbucks as branded coffee of choice on shoppers’ lists. 

Diving deeper into the last four years of list data for “Starbucks,” we see that December typically captures the most list-adds from shoppers. Moreover, gift-giving strongly correlates with the increase of this term on lists. 

Despite holiday increases in “Starbucks” on shoppers’ mobile lists, in 2022, we see a slight year-over-year decline in Starbucks as a list term. Of course, one could predict an uptick once again at the holidays, but the trends indicate it may be a minor increase over last year. 

Year-over-year changes in “Starbucks” as a mobile grocery branded list term. 

Coffee and tea are year-round staples with reliable increased shopper interest as temperatures cool. Our holiday data blog series will also illuminate some other beverages known to warm you up…spirits! Stay tuned for our look into what shoppers are stocking liquor cabinets with (and gifting!) during the holiday party season!


If you are an advertiser looking for insights to support your upcoming holiday brand strategy for beverages or CPG brands, AdAdapted has customer intent data to help your campaign succeed. To learn even more about other seasonal items that shoppers are adding to their mobile app lists or how to get your branded product in front of individuals primed to buy, contact us at info@adadapted.com.

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