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Generation Brew – Young British Coffee Drinkers Not Satisfied With a Cup of Instant

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Generation Brew – Young British Coffee Drinkers Not Satisfied With a Cup of Instant

August 11
09:26 2010

New research from YouGov SixthSense reveals that a generational divide exists in UK coffee consumption. 83% of over 55s has drunk a cup of instant coffee in the last month compared to 67% of 18-24 year olds. Younger generations are more likely to choose alternatives such as a cappuccino (43%), a latte (39%) and an americano (22%).

Commenting on the findings in the report, research director for YouGov SixthSense, James McCoy, says: “What we are seeing here are two very different coffee drinking cultures informed by two different consumer experiences. The younger generation has grown up with Starbucks, Costa, Cafe Nero etc. offering a more varied and comprehensive coffee menu. Also, young people are used to meeting with their friends at places like coffee shops where conversation can be carried out over a freshly brewed coffee, Friends-style. The previous generation hosted more and, therefore, was more inclined to resort to whatever was in the kitchen cupboard if and when a guest requested coffee.”

Starbucks’ recent foray into the instant coffee market reflects an industry-wide push to produce something closer to the taste of freshly brewed coffee in instant coffee form. James McCoy adds: “It is possible that moves by coffee house chains into the instant sector might see a slight rebalance in favour of instant in the home.”

Londoners exhibit a more discerning taste in coffee compared to drinkers in other parts of the UK – 12% of Londoners say that they regularly drink ‘freshly brewed coffee’ for breakfast during the week, compared to Wales (6%), the Midlands (5%) and Northern Ireland (1%).  A smaller proportion of Londoners (69%) has drunk a cup of instant coffee in the past month than anywhere else in the UK, while the North (84%) is the region with the most drinkers of instant brands such as Nescafe, Kenco etc.

Coffee’s appeal seems to derive from its image as a ‘stimulating’ drink, with 67% of consumers choosing to label it as such. In contrast, 79% of respondents view regular tea (ie not herbal) as traditional, while tea is also synonymous with Britishness for 63% of UK adults. Herbal tea provides a calming effect with respondents using terms like relaxing (53%), soothing (36%) and healthy (55%) to describe it. Almost half of respondents (44%) say herbal tea is a good alternative to standard tea.

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