Consumers Still Spending on Coffee

August 22, 2011

Up nearly 15 percent from a year ago, are consumers still drinking coffee? We surveyed the consumer panel, and here's what we found.

Along with many other commodities, coffee prices have seen a huge hike lately. Up nearly 15 percent from a year ago, Supermarket Guru wanted to know how consumers' coffee drinking habits had changed. Knowing that coffee isn’t necessarily a staple – it doesn’t really fit into any food group – it could be expected that consumers curbed the habit. We surveyed the Supermarket Guru consumer panel to find out.

The plurality of the panel consumes two cups a day at 30 percent, followed by those who have three, 22 percent, and those who drink four are right behind at 21 percent. A whopping 15 percent have five or more, and 11 percent have one.
Saving money is definitely on the minds of most shoppers, but the majority, three-quarters of the panel, are still drinking as much coffee now as they were before the price hikes. And cup o' joe drinkers just don’t want to give it up. Forty-eight percent say they will not cut back despite rising prices, one out of five say they will cut back when prices rise 11 to 20 percent, about the same amount say they will cut back when prices rise 21 percent or more, and 15 percent say they will cut back if they rise 10 percent or less.
Most of the Supermarket Guru panel are getting the best value on their Joe by drinking it at home. Almost half say they drink 100 percent of their coffee at home, while 32 percent say they drink 75 percent at home.
As mentioned above, consumers most often purchase coffee in the supermarket (76%), while specialty coffee shops like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and the like attract 38 percent of coffee shoppers. Restaurants attract 24 percent, and online stores, diners/ coffee shops, gourmet stores, and convenience stores attract the rest. 
Since supermarkets already win most of consumers coffee purchases, there might not be much more to do, but when consumers were asked what could supermarkets do to win more of your coffee purchases, 67 percent said "more sales," 35 percent said "more samples," 24 percent said a "greater variety of packaged coffees," 22 percent said "more promotions with companion items," and 21 percent want a "greater variety of beans to grind."
On our Supermarket Guru Facebook fan page, we asked how coffee consumption habits have changed, and here's a few comments that were posted. 

Bud Damberg: “I've changed my consumption habits, less K cups and using the old school Mr. Coffee machine again. Hard to justify the cost of those K Cups. Also replacing Coffee with soda and water, but keeping away from water bottles.” 

Cooking Channel: “Not a chance...”

Mel Libraro: “The only difference we've made is what we do with extra coffee. Instead of pouring it down the drain, we chill it to make a flavored coffee for an afternoon dessert.”