Conservative coffee brand announces plans to double locations, expects to grind Starbucks down

Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) announced plans to double their retail locations as “people who love America” abandon woke coffee chains to an anticipated 35 percent revenue increase.

The conservative alternative to Starbucks was founded in 2014 by Evan Hafer, a retired Green Beret from the U.S. Army Special Forces who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, out of his garage. Hafer spoke with the Sacramento Bee about the company’s growth and the available share of the market.

“We’re eight years from my garage. And we’ve been focused on becoming a high-growth company,” Hafer said, “but we also really have to focus on the bottom line and becoming profitable and have a pathway to profitability.”

“So when we look at not only the growth story of the company, we have to look at how do we become profitable and how do we manage all aspects of the business in great detail,” Hafer added as they are looking to add between 15 and 20 retail “outposts” to the 16 currently in operation.

Their fourth-quarter report showed a 20 percent increase from $59.9 million to $71.8 million bringing their total revenue for 2021 to $233 million, compared to Starbucks’ $8.8 billion. Based on those figures, they are now projecting a 35 percent increase in 2022 to net them $315 million. Co-CEO Tom Davin described this as only a mere fraction of the opportunity available to them.

“The U.S. coffee market is over $45 billion, and we estimate our serviceable addressable market to be $28 billion,” Davin explained of the company’s “mission to serve coffee and culture to people who love America.”

“This includes 100 million U.S. customers who are aligned with our brand values,” the purveyor of the Thin Blue Line and AK-47 Espresso Blend stated. “Note that our $233 million revenue last year points to less than one percent of our serviceable addressable market. So we are positioned for many years of sustained growth.”

That growth is also reflected in their direct-to-consumer offerings like their nearly 300,000 coffee club subscribers and their ready-to-drink products that they describe as one of their most popular offerings.

COO Toby Johnson expressed the need for BRCC to seek out partners in manufacturing to enable them “to more fully address product demand that is currently unmet.”

“[What] we’ve seen is such support for the products that we have from consumers and from retailers that the unmet demand is really additional opportunities for us to go after,” Johnson said.

“It’s really taking advantage of the momentum on the brand and continue to accelerate,” he added.

On matters of brand awareness, BRCC said they are still less than 20 percent nationwide and only 17 percent with their base comprised of veterans and active military. For this reason, they’ve refocused their marketing “from paid media to owned media,” which includes utilizing brand ambassadors, podcasts, and sports events.

BRCC took some heat as a conservative brand when they publicly distanced themselves from extremism after individuals, like members of the Proud Boys, were seen wearing their merchandise. Hafer made clear that they are pro-Second Amendment and pro-America and that there are growing pains as a company that can’t be controlled.

Those issues seemed to sort themselves out after BRCC’s IPO which also helped with their growth as it made $150 million available to move forward with their strategy.


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