If you’re anything like me, you are addicted to coffee. I get headaches if I don’t get my coffee fix fast enough, and I get cranky to the point that I don’t even want to be around myself. Even the rich smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee can lift my spirits bright and early in the morning. At the end of the day, to me coffee is not just coffee. It is one of the few things in life I get to be picky about. Some people are ok with drinking instant coffee, but I need my coffee to be freshly brewed using my fancy coffee maker. It’s interesting how something so intrinsically simple such as a cup of coffee can become so complex and important to people.
I think it is safe to assume that one of the biggest differences between coffee drinkers are those who settle with any coffee that is available and those who carefully pick the premium coffee that they drink. I am one of those premium coffee addicts. My coworkers love to give me a hard time because I REFUSE to drink from the company Keurig machine. I wanted to know why other people like myself prefer to drink premium coffee over regular coffee if it ultimately serves the same function. I figured that using our GroupSolver® platform would be a perfect way to really dig deeper into people’s opinions and preferences. Thus, we were able to uncover 109 people’s feelings towards this subject.
Why do people drink coffee?
It’s important to note that we only screened in folks who drink premium coffee in order to truly understand these types of coffee lovers’ views. We expect that many people would drink coffee for the energy boost, but that can’t be the only reason for coffee snobs like myself. If that were the case, then no one would be spending $5 on their drink (or refusing to drink from the company Keurig machine)! Our respondents said that they like to drink coffee for other reasons such as the fact that sipping a cup at home (89% support) or at a coffee shop (49% support) is a nice way to begin the morning. They like the smell (87% support) and they love the taste (85% support). Personally, I’d say that I value taste the most. Sometimes I wonder if maybe it’s all in my head and I think I need coffee, when in reality I just want it for the sake of drinking it. However, beyond some of the big themes, we also heard that coffee is a part of their routine to start their day (85% support) and some appreciate coffee’s health benefits (61% support). About 75% of our sample agreed that the taste combined with the smell in a good cup of coffee is very calming for them.
Quality and taste make premium coffee more appealing than regular coffee.
The real question is: what makes premium coffee premium? Respondents reported that “premium coffee” to them means that the coffee has a rich taste (83% support), is made with quality beans (89% support), has a smooth taste (81% support), and is made of expensive, special blends (67% support). It smells great (75% support), has a full body (71% support), and it is well blended (71% support). Some coffee connoisseurs also pay attention to the roasting process (65% support), lack of bitterness (59% support) and even being single sourced (37% support). This shows that there really isn’t only one definition of premium since many have different perceptions of what it means.
I was interested to see if what premium coffee means to people differs based on the age of the drinker. I was able to create different segments through our innovative IntelliSegment™ tool. Gen X respondents (ages 36 through 50) associated premium coffee mostly with taste. While Millennial respondents (ages 18 through 35) also associate it with taste, other themes that were unique to this age group included being expensive, smelling good, and being a special flavor from somewhere such as Starbucks. This doesn’t surprise me since younger people typically follow trends. If Starbucks comes out with a new flavor, younger people are probably more open to purchasing it since it’s what everyone else is doing. This is useful information for coffee companies since it can help them understand what different audiences look for when they seek premium coffee.
Premium coffee companies should differentiate themselves.
With so many different energy and caffeine drinks out there, it is important for premium coffee companies to look beyond drinking coffee in order to “wake up”. From our study, it is clear that there are many different reasons why people drink coffee, as well as how they view premium coffee. If a premium coffee company would like to stand out and appeal to customers, they need to differentiate themselves far beyond the flavor and energy boost in the morning. Our survey respondents describe their coffee as much in terms of their experiences (morning routine, chatting with a friend, etc.) as they do in terms of its flavor. It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one who experiences coffee in this way.
Do you have a customer insight question you would like solved? #FridayInSight has your answer! We’ll design a study, collect data on the GroupSolver® platform, and share with you a free report with our findings. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.