During the worst of the Covid-19 crisis, white-collar workers had little reason to fundamentally bid up high-potential coffee stocks: they could brew their own cup of Joe at home. However, with workplace normalization steadily becoming a reality, the return of the daily grind could make America’s favorite psychoactive stimulant relevant again.
Indeed, the label best coffee stocks 2023 could become an ongoing theme. Recall that in the late summer of last year, CNBC noted that despite soaring inflation, higher consumer prices couldn’t stop breakfast sales at leading fast-food and fast-casual outlets.
Moving forward, as companies get more aggressive with their return-to-office directives, investing in coffee stocks will be mighty attractive. Basically, the sector will benefit from an expanding total addressable market. Yes, it’s terribly cynical but it’s also effective.
As the unofficial distribution leader of America’s favorite psychoactive compound, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) during the pre-pandemic era made worker bees’ lives a little easier. It’s amazing how much stupid stuff you can do more quickly with a little help from Starbucks’ lattes, cappuccinos, and other delectable concoctions. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis crimped the business, impacting its role as one of the high-potential coffee stocks.
According to Gravy Analytics, Starbucks suffered a foot traffic decline of 16% on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2022. From data compiled by Unacast, last year, Starbucks’ foot traffic dropped about 6.5% in total. Because of the resistance to return-to-office mandates, the coffee shop operator felt the hit to its bottom line.
Cynically, though, due to the rising impact of time theft in the workplace – fraudulently getting paid to goof around – more companies are cracking down on remote work privileges. In turn, Starbucks might rank among the top coffee stocks to buy. Basically, its addressable market may rise as the nine-to-five grind returns, boding well for the business.
An icon in the global fast-food arena, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) might not be as fancy as Starbucks. However, when I monkeyed about in the precarious ladders of Corporate America, folks I encountered swore by Mickey D’s coffee. For considerably cheaper, the Golden Arches’ blood pressure booster got you cranking out those TPS reports, cover sheets, and all.
Unfortunately for McDonald’s bottom line, the Covid-19 crisis imposed a significant headwind on the enterprise. Rather than enjoying a clear shot to the label best coffee stocks 2023, the fast-food king also suffered foot traffic loss. Per Gravy Analytics, this metric saw a decline of 5% YOY in Q4 2022.
Nevertheless, upper management laying down the law on remote workers may be music to the ears of MCD shareholders. As workplace protocols normalize, the return of the grind should make McDonald’s relevant again. Fundamentally, we should see vehicle miles traveled eventually hit new highs. Over time, this dynamic should translate to more customers going through McDonald’s drive-thru lanes. I see increased demand, making MCD intriguing for those investing in coffee stocks.
Krispy Kreme (DNUT)
When you think about it, Krispy Kreme (NASDAQ:DNUT) may be the perfect idea for coffee stocks amid workplace normalization. Before we get into the coffee, we have the sugar. According to Psychology Today, at the neurochemical level, “…sugar induces short-term feelings of reward and desire by increasing the action of an important neurotransmitter called dopamine.”
Next, you add the coffee to Krispy Kreme donuts, which fit like sprinkles on ice cream. With coffee itself being an uplifter of moods, a rough day at the office can be quickly enlivened with this combo. Interestingly, Krispy Kreme previously suffered foot traffic losses as well. During the week of Jan. 10, 2022, this metric fell 17.54% compared to 2020.
Still, such losses may become a thing of the past as employers crack the whip. While I understand the point about worker resistance – and they are resisting something fierce – it all ends on this note: ultimately, employers sign the checks. It’s an ugly fact of life but it’s their way or the highway. Therefore, DNUT ranks among the high-potential coffee stocks to buy.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.