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22,842 Coffee shops of America: An interactive map

3 weeks ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Interactive

The temperature's dropping, the bundled-up grogginess is here, and Americans are heading to their favorite coffee chains to grab a cup to get through the day. The average American spends $3 per day — or $1,100 per year — on coffee. More than 41% of Americans say they spent more on coffee in 2017 than they did on their retirement savings, according to a study by Acorns.

That's a lot of coffee. And there are a lot of places to buy coffee. Starbucks ($NASDAQ:SBUX), America's largest chain, runs more than 13,000 restaurants in the USA alone. Dunkin' ($NASDAQ:DNKN) runs another 8,500.

In this interactive feature, we look at the retail outlay for six of America's coffee chains — by no means an exhaustive lot — including Starbucks, Dunkin', Caribou ($CARIBOUCOFFEE), Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf ($PRIV_COFFEEBEAN), Peet's ($PEETSCOFFEE), and Tully's ($TULLYSCOFFEESHOPS).

An overview map of the United States shows Dunkin's east-coast bias. Known by New England locals as "Dunkie's", Dunkin' was founded in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts. It's now owned and operated by Basin-Robbins' holding company Allied Domecq. Once called Dunkin' Donuts, Dunkin' is now razor-focused on coffee (you can still grab a cruller though).

Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest where Starbucks got its start, one sees clear dominance by that chain. While Peet's of San Francisco has made a dent in the Seattle market, home-favorite Starbucks still runs the show.

In Southern California, LA-headquartered Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf makes its presence known with a swath of yellow on the map. In July, this chain was acquired by Filipino multinational Jollibee Foods Corporation, which also owns a 40% stake in Smashburger. It's also the sole franchisee of Burger King in the Philippines.

In the Midwest, Minnesota-based Caribou coffee is clearly keeping people warm. The chain went through a bit of a contraction in 2013 when it closed 80 stores and converted another 88 into Peet's Coffee shops. It's now owned by JAB Holding Company of Germany.

A closeup of the New York metropolitan area reveals a Christmas-tree-like battle for dominance between Starbucks and Dunkin'. New York is a complex market, given the heavy foot traffic and dense population. In New York City itself, one sees a smattering of locations on virtually every block while the outer boroughs trace major thoroughfares. (Thinknum employees regularly drink from Gregory's or the Macchiato Espresso Bar around the corner from our office on 5th Avenue.)

In also-populous-but-car-friendly California, we see various zones of apparent dominance, with the aforementioned Coffee Bean & Tea leaf virtually omnipresent in Los Angeles, Starbucks making itself known in the inland empire, and Peet's cashing in on tech-friendly Bay Area and San Francisco. Meanwhile, Phoenix, Arizona sees a cluster of all three, as does Las Vegas.

There are 35,616 coffee shops in the United States, according to Allegra, representing a market value of $45.4 billion, so this map — which includes 22,842 locations — represents about 64% of America's java joints. Meanwhile, Starbucks, Dunkin', and JAB Holding Company (which now owns Peet's, Caribou, Pret a Manger, and Panera) combine to own roughly 80% of the coffee shops in America. Of all the coffee shops in the US, 40% are Starbucks.

And by special request, for our Canadian friends, a look at Tim Hortons vs Starbucks in Canada:

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further reading:

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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