Exploring Coffee Manufacturing with Google Trends

Photo by Dana Fusek

This week I have taken on a role as the head of Social Media for “Bruno’s Brews” a coffee manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. Okay, Disclaimer- this is not a real company. However, as the head of social media for my coffee company, I decided to explore Google Trends to find valuable business insight for my company.

Social Media Business Report- Bruno’s Brews

As we plan to open 10 new coffee shops across Pennsylvania and within our neighboring states, I have prepared a Google Trends Analysis beginning with how the term “coffee” was been trending in Pennsylvania within the last 12 months in order to understand public interest.

Google Trends Search- “Coffee”

Published from Verified Wawa Twitter Page

The graph below shows the highest search peaks from December 22nd- December 25th, 2019 and April 5th- April 11th, 2020. The first peak in April could most likely represent public curiosity on where to purchase coffee amid the COVID-19 pandemic, or it could also relate to a promotion that popular gas station franchise, Wawa, created providing healthcare works with free coffee during the week. This info identifies a competitor within the area we wish to open our new drive-thru coffee shops.

The second spike in December is significant as it likely represents a crucial time for purchasing coffee while running errands and buying gifts as Christmas approaches. This can identify ideal timing for opening new shops and for creating new promotions around the holiday season.

Within Pennsylvania, Google Trends indicates Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Altoona and Erie were identified as areas where the search term “coffee” was most popular. Philadelphia represented the #6 most popular with 68 searches.

Google Trends Search- “Coffee Shops”

The next trend I searched for is “coffee shops” within Pennsylvania in the last 12 months. The graph below indicates popular search times. Google Trends identified a significant spike during the week of February 9th- February 15th, 2020. With some research, the trend may just represent common searches for “coffee shops near me” or indicate a few coffee shops opening and closing within Pennsylvania.

From the information provided, the search term “coffee shops” represent the most popular areas below. The same areas from the first search were indicated as the most popular areas, with the exception of Pittsburgh, PA, which was 6th most popular.

Coffee Shops Tri-State Areas Comparison

In order to reach our goal of opening new drive-thru coffee shops close to Pennsylvania, I identified the best and worst states to open in.

To begin with I compared the search term “coffee shop” over the last five years between Pennsylvania and Ohio.

It seems as though Ohio had a steadily higher number of hits when compared to Pennsylvania. Google Trends indicated that Columbus, OH had the greatest search interest. This indicates that opening a coffee shop in Ohio would be successful.

My next test was to compare Pennsylvania to Ohio and Maryland. Both states seemed to trend similarly to Pennsylvania, so I would recommend opening shops in both Ohio and Maryland.

Finally I compared Pennsylvania to New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. While the results from Delaware (green) may look significant, the key areas indicated in the Delaware metro area counted Philadelphia, PA and Salisbury, MD as the most popular areas. Therefore, I would not recommend opening a coffee shop in Delaware. We can also see that New Jersey consistently trended lower than Pennsylvania in the last five years, making it a state I would not recommend. New York, however, consistently trended higher, particularly in the New York, NY area.

Conclusions

To conclude, it seems the best areas in Pennsylvania to open Bruno’s Brews coffee shops would be Erie, Scranton, Altoona, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh (as Pittsburgh has had greater search interest in the last five years compared to Philadelphia.) I would also recommend opening around December to maximize reach.

Based on Google Trends from the last five years, I would recommend opening coffee shops in Ohio, Maryland, New York. Specifically, Google Trends indicates Columbus, OH, New York, NY, Rochester, NY and Baltimore, MD as the best areas to open a coffee shop outside of Pennsylvania.

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