Many of you may remember that March 2020 marked a dramatic change in our country, the pandemic officially hit the U.S. Consumers rushed to stores to stock up on key items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. News outlets showed long lines of socially-distanced shoppers outside Costco’s around the country. March and April 2020 became record sales months at grocery stores. Cameron’s scrambled to keep up with demand with the priority of safety for our team members. Fortunately, our team has remained healthy and we have kept up with demand. During this time, I am most proud of the team for taking care of each other and thinking beyond the walls of Cameron’s by delivering free coffee to local hospitals. As I wrote previously, “In the end, we only make coffee.” Our frontline heroes desire all the support we have to give.
A long year later, hope is dramatically increasing for those of us fortunate enough to live in the U.S. where vaccines are available for those who want them. We are not yet out of the woods but there is a greater sense of optimism – which is well needed. Our focus will remain on keeping our team healthy as the U.S. re-opens. We are also watching Covid rates explode in the rest of the world. Our concern extends to our farmers and partners in these countries. Many live in remote areas, so less exposed to crowds; but they are losing family and friends all too routinely.
Despite the pandemic, the world of groceries continues to move forward. Consumers’ rush to load pantries last year make it hard to show growth versus last year for many companies. This is not the case at Cameron’s. We continue to grow as one of the fastest growing coffee brands in grocery stores and just recorded our highest sales month ever!
It all boils down to a big thank you to our loyal fans. Thank you for continuing to purchase our Always Smooth, Never Bitter coffee, and thank you for telling your friends. More people are discovering our distinctively smooth taste at a fair price. It started years ago with buying only specialty-grade coffee, the top 10% of coffee beans in the world, roasting them in non-scorch roasters and packaging the coffee as fast as possible to preserve fresh taste. We remain dedicated to making only smooth coffee.
A major trend in coffee purchases at grocery stores during the pandemic is larger sizes. Consumers made less trips to grocery stores, so they valued larger (stock up) sizes. Cameron’s has been and remains a leader in 2 LB valve bags and larger count single serve packages. Next time in a store, compare our 2 LB price versus our competitors 20 oz. products…we are delighted that our value to you increases with size. A big win for our loyal supporters. Also take notice that Cameron’s may be the only brand at the shelf with a commercially compostable EcoPod versus plastic k-cups. We initially choose a soft bottom (filtered) pod for better taste, but our fans call us all the time to rave about having a less plastic option in single serve.
This summer, we will finalize our holiday selections. Our currents plans are to make Pumpkin Spice, White Chocolate Peppermint, Crème Brûlée Latte and Winter Blend this year, given the high demand in the previous two years for these items. We will also monitor the situation to see if we can host an in-person warehouse sale this November. It’s a lot of work, but being able to speak directly with our loyal fans is a huge win for us.
That’s all from the Cameron’s roastery for now. In the end, we will simply continue doing what we do – proudly brew America’s best at-home coffee. Hopefully you agree. 😊